Blonde Club announces Pedigree Herd’s Competition winners

Neil with son Noah, Colin and Norman McKnight pictured with the large herd winner Silverwood Blondes.
Neil with son Noah, Colin and Norman McKnight pictured with the large herd winner Silverwood Blondes.

The Northern Ireland Blonde Cattle Club have announced the winners in their pedigree herd’s competition for 2019, which has been kindly sponsored by Gormley Motors.

This year Dessie Donohoe of the Baltra herd, Oldcastle Co. Meath, had the difficult task of selecting his herd winners as well as the individual prizes on offer.

Ivaniskey Nessa winner of the heifer born in 2017 category, from the McElroy family.

Ivaniskey Nessa winner of the heifer born in 2017 category, from the McElroy family.

The winner of the large herds category, which is for those herds with ten or more registered pedigree breeding females, is Silverwood Blondes owned by the McKnight family from Newry, Co. Down.

Silverwood have been breeding Blondes for nearly 30 years now and Dessie commented on the “tremendous uniformity and quality of a herd of cows and calves with fantastic temperaments. A real credit to the breeding policy and attention to detail of the owners.”

The reserve large herd was awarded to the Drumraymond herd owned by the Griffin family from Toomebridge.

Herds with nine or less registered pedigree breeding females were eligible for entry to the small herd’s category. Ballygowan Blondes, owned by the Gibson family from Ballygowan were winners in this category.

Hillhead Lawrence owned by Lyon Blondes, winner of the best stock bull.

Hillhead Lawrence owned by Lyon Blondes, winner of the best stock bull.

Once again Dessie was impressed with the quality of pedigree cattle on display remarking: “Once again a fantastic herd of consistent quality cows and calves displaying all the desirable traits that a Blonde should display.”

The reserve small herd was awarded to the Moneyscalp herd owned by the McClelland family from Castlewellan, a significant achievement for a herd only formed just five years ago.

Moving to the individual awards Dessie commented: “Picking individual winners proved most difficult, due to the quality of animals put forward from all participants.”

Winner of the best heifer born in 2017 was Ivaniskey Nessa from the McElroy family from Dromara. Sired by Ivaniskey Limited Edition and from a homebred cow, Vanessa. Reserve in this category was Silverwood Nat from the McKnight family. Nat is sired by Ardmore Gargoyle from a homebred dam Silverwood Irene.

Robert, David and Jessie Gibson with the small herd winner Ballygowan Blondes.

Robert, David and Jessie Gibson with the small herd winner Ballygowan Blondes.

The best cow and calf was awarded to Classic Jojo and her Kilmoney Bruce sired bull calf, Ballymacan Olaf owned by the Johnston family from Clogher. Jojo is no stranger to the show ring and has excelled over the summer at local shows with Olaf at foot. The reserve best cow and calf was awarded to Silverwood Gloria with her Ardmore Gargoyle sired bull calf, Silverwood Paco at foot.

The best stock bull this year was awarded to Hillhead Lawrence owned by Alan Carson of the Lyon herd, Cookstown. Lawrence was sired by Allacott Herbert. Reserve best stock bull was the Whistley Dollar sired Ark Maverick owned by the Gibson family of Ballygowan Blondes.

The Northern Ireland Blonde Club wishes to extend their thanks to Desmond Donohoe for agreeing to be the judge.

Prizes will be given out at the Northern Ireland Blonde Club’s annual dinner dance on Saturday, 19th October at the Royal Hotel in Cookstown.

Contact Alan Carson on 07803157366 for tickets or speak to any club member.

The autumn sale of pedigree bulls and females will be held on Friday, 25th October at Dungannon Farmers Mart with judging at 10am and the sale commencing at 1pm. Once again all animals presented for sale will be tested negative for BVD, Johnes, IBR and Lepto and in addition all consigning herds are members of independent laboratory managed High-Health Cattle schemes. Herd health certificates will be on display ensuring prospective buyers can purchase with confidence.

Catalogues are available by contacting Dungannon Farmers Mart 028 8772 2727.