NI Dexter Group gets VIP’s seal of approval

The NI Dexter Cattle Group had a busy week at the recent Balmoral Show, welcoming crowds in the Dexter breed line and having plenty of discussion surrounding the ‘wee cow with a big future’.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 8:08 am
Libby Clarke, Chair of RUAS Cattle Committee, is pictured chatting to NI Dexter Cattle members Thomas and Patrick McAreavey, Ryan Lavery and Ben Neill.
Libby Clarke, Chair of RUAS Cattle Committee, is pictured chatting to NI Dexter Cattle members Thomas and Patrick McAreavey, Ryan Lavery and Ben Neill.

Dexter classes took place on the Wednesday morning of the show and amongst the many spectators around the ring was Northern Ireland’s First Minister Paul Givan who, after having a bit of craic about ‘mini’ cows, was informed about the success of the Dexter breed in Northern Ireland over the last 30 years.

He expressed admiration for the breeders here on learning about the breed’s once rarity. From only been found in Belfast Zoo to now more than 100 herds spread throughout the Province, with some numbering a couple hundred head.

The First Minister then had a discussion with the NI Group founding members Newell Bingham and Deirdre Hilton MBE, learning how the NI Dexter Cattle Group has developed over nearly 20 years and how Deirdre received her MBE from Prince Charles for her services to the Dexter breed.

NI First Minister Paul Girvan discusses the history of the NI Dexter Cattle Group with founding members Newell Bingham and Deirdre Hilton MBE.

Thursday morning saw the Duchess of Wessex visit the showgrounds and during her time viewing the cattle lines she spent some time speaking with the McAreavey family and viewing their Ballinderry herd. She learned about the family’s experience with the Dexter breed and their first exhibiting at the Balmoral Show.

Clearly impressed with the quality of Dexter’s on show and professionalism of NI Group members in showcasing the breed, NI First Minister Paul Givan also called again on the Friday of the show to chat to NI Group Chair Ryan Lavery and several members to learn more about this fantastic little breed.

Throughout the rest of the week there was a continuous flow of enquiries surrounding the breed and its many benefits.

Amongst the crowds was RUAS President Billy Martin and Chair of RUAS Cattle Committee, Libby Clarke, who were both pleased to hear that the NI Group was having a very successful show and gave their congratulations on hearing that the Dexter breed had won the Best Beef Presentation Award.

RUAS President Billy Martin congratulates NI Dexter Cattle Group members Thomas and Patrick McAreavey, Ryan Lavery and Ben Neill.

To see more pictures from the NI Dexter Cattle Group at the show or if you would like to know more about Dexter’s in Northern Ireland, check out the Group’s website at www.nidextercattlegroup.com or see the NI Dexter Cattle Group on Facebook and Instagram.

Ryan Lavery, NI Group Chair, chats about the Dexter breed to NI First Minister Paul Girvan and NI Committee member Patrick McAreavey.
Patrick and Thomas McAreavey introducing some of their prize-winning stock from their Ballinderry Herd to the Duchess of Wessex at Balmoral Show 2021.