Almost 300 entries catalogued for multi-breed beef showcase

Pedigree Calf Fair @ Beef NI Expo chairman David Connolly, and secretary Ann Orr, have confirmed that almost 300 calves have been entered for the one-day showcase at Balmoral. Picture: Julie Hazelton
Pedigree Calf Fair @ Beef NI Expo chairman David Connolly, and secretary Ann Orr, have confirmed that almost 300 calves have been entered for the one-day showcase at Balmoral. Picture: Julie Hazelton

The countdown is on with just one week to go before the much anticipated 2016 Pedigree Calf Fair @ Beef NI Expo.

Organisers have been overwhelmed by the number of entries catalogued and the level of interest from commercial trade exhibitors.

The multi-breed event takes place at the Balmoral Showgrounds, Belfast, on Saturday 19th November. Judging commences at 10am, with ten native and continental beef breeds coming under scrutiny from a line-up of highly acclaimed judges.

Organised in partnership with the Livestock and Meat Commission, the one-day show is generously sponsored by Bovipast RSP, SERE Motors, HVS Liquid Gold, Topstock, Devenish Nutrition, Bank of Ireland, Hudson Trailers NI Ltd, and Farm Wardrobe.

Event organiser and chairman David Connolly said: “Last year’s inaugural show was the first of its kind in Ireland, and we were overwhelmed by the positive response from pedigree herd owners, sponsors and trade exhibitors from across the province.

“This year’s event will be bigger and better, with almost 300 calves catalogued and more than 80 trade stands in attendance.

“It’s all about showcasing the Northern Ireland beef industry, and the superior genetics that livestock producers have to offer. Focusing on the ethos of ‘Beef Strategy 2020’ the aim is to highlight important issues within the beef sector, and let visitors see, how the sector is being primed for future growth.

“Never before has the beef industry in Northern Ireland been given such a high-profile platform on which to display its superior pedigree young stock. Many of the prize winners at last year’s show went on to win numerous accolades, and command leading prices at auction, both locally and nationally.”

There will be three show rings in operation throughout the day, with the livestock show scheduled to finish at 3.30pm with a parade of champions.

The catalogue for the Pedigree Calf Fair boasts six classes for each beef breed, with calves ranging in age from seven to fourteen-months-old. Exhibitors will be competing for a share of the £15,000 prize fund.

The showmanship competition, judged by Laurent Antignac from Northamptonshire, will get underway at 1pm, and boasts an entry of over 20 competitors across two classes.

The judging panel features pedigree breeders from throughout the UK and Ireland including:

Aberdeen Angus – William McLaren, Netherton, Perthshire.

Beef Shorthorn – Scott Marshall, Perthshire.

British Blonde – Des Donohoe, Baltra, County Meath.

British Blue – John Hall, Cumbria, England.

Charolais – Arwell Owen, Powys, Wales.

Hereford – Tony Bradstock, Herefordshire.

Irish Moiled – Trevor Chadwick, Offaly, Ireland.

Limousin – Jim Quail, Banbridge, Co Down.

Salers – Laurent Antignac, Northamptonshire, England.

Simmental – Iain Green, Moray, Garmouth, Scotland.

David Connolly concluded: “Seminars will be focusing on the way forward for the industry, and will run from 1pm to 2pm.”

“This event is specially tailored to promote the local beef industry, and showcase the very best young stock and genetics that Northern Ireland has to offer.”

Event secretary Ann Orr has confirmed that 30% extra trade space has been made available to satisfy demand. “We have a full house, with commercial trade exhibitors and industry experts offering visitors an opportunity to view the latest products and technology focused at animal breeding and management.

“Visitors will also be able to avail of the many promotions and discounts which will be on offer during the show.”

Admission fees are £10 per adult; YFC members and OAPs £5; while children under 16-years are free of charge. Free on-site parking is available.