BYGONE DAYS: Pig farmer scores ‘top double’ at Balmoral

Co Londonderry pig breeder Robert Overend of Bellaghy scored a “top double” success at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society’s spring show and sale of pigs at Balmoral during this week in February 1982 reported Farming Life.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 8:27 am

Mr Overend won the Landrace supreme championship with an outstanding gilt and the champion bacon carcase was also produced by his noted Deerpark herd which had a long list of successes.

It was the fourth supreme Landrace championship in a row for Mr Overend – at the breed shows at Portadown and Cookstown, Balmoral autumn show and now the spring show.

The Landrace reserve supreme award went to Cyril Millar from Glenleary, Coleraine, Co Londonderry, with a young performance tested boar, which was male champion. Mr Millar was also reserve to Mr Overend for the best Landrace gilt.

Mr Robert Emerson of Dungannon, Co Tyrone, had the Landrace reserve supreme boar at the show and sale at Balmoral.

A Co Tyrone breeder named Mr Ambrode Kelly from Dungannon won the supreme championship in the Large White section with an outstanding gilt, with Mr Alfred Martin from Aldergrove, Crumlin, Co Antrim, reserve champion with a boar.

Mr Alfie Martin also won the reserve female award.

Mr Hubert Gabbie from Crossgar, Co Down, won the Large White reserve supreme award.

In the Welsh pig section Mrs Elsie Breadon of Donaghadee, Co Down, took the breed supreme and reserve awards with a boar and a gilt.

Mr Tom Five from Cappoquin, Co Waterford, who judged the Landrace, was impressed by the high quality of both the top boars and gilt.

The bacon carcases excelled in quality. Mr Overend won the overall championship with a Landrace.

The reserve supreme award went to Mr Austin Glasgow of Cookstown, Co Tyrone, with Large White carcases.

Farming Life noted that with increasing emphasis on performance to cut production costs commercial pig producers had gone for boars with test records at the RUAS spring show and sale at Balmoral.

While breeders with records had good trade to a top of 950 guineas the general run had been “poor and disappointing”.

Average prices for the breeds were up on 1981 but this was due to the good prices for the top animals.

Mr Cyril Millar’s Landrace performance tested herd was always to the fore and the herd “had a field day”, with the top price of 950 guineas for a tested boar. His other prices included 900 guineas, 700 guineas and 580 guineas.

Mr John Stewart of Randalstown, Co Antrim, received 900 guineas and 800 guineas for Landrace boars.

Mr Robert Overend who had won Landrace supreme championship and completed the top double by winning the overall bacon carcase championship, also featured among the top prices. He had 780 guineas, 570 guineas and 500 guineas among his prices.

Mr Ashley Armstrong from Omagh, Co Tyrone, who was noted for his Norwegian Landrace breeding, also had a good day with 740 guineas and 700 guineas heading his prices.

Mr Robert Emerson had 440 guineas for a Landrace boar.

In the Large White section the outstanding breed champion gilt of Mr Ambrose Kelly, was sold for 450 guineas.

Mr Hubert Gabbie received 400 guineas each for two Large White boars.

Average prices were as follows: Landrace boars up from £225 in 1981 to £353; gilts from £247 to £253.

Large White boars from £185 to £222, gilts from £259 to £476.

Welsh boars from £123 to £153, gilts from £169 to £211.