The final of the 2016 Northern Ireland Shows Association/Danske Bank Sheep Championship took place recently at Limavady Show when a Charollais ewe from Diane Christie at Comber walked off with top honours to repeat the flock’s success in the last two years.
The rain made only intermittent appearances to allow many of the Province’s leading breeding ewes, which had all pre-qualified at shows right across Northern Ireland, to parade before judge Norman Douglas from Selkirk in the Scottish Borders.
After a thorough assessment of the ten finalists forward - representing many of the leading sheep breeds - Mr Douglas selected a ‘short leet’ before further appraisal prior to his final selection. At that stage he awarded the Championship to a Charollais ewe exhibited by Diane Christie which had qualified at Lurgan Show in early June.
This was another success for the Lornbrook flock crowning a successful show season for the flock. This is a tremendous achievement given the high calibre of entries during the competition each year
The Reserve Award in the NISA/Danske Bank Sheep Championship went to a Mule ewe exhibited by James Adams that had qualified at Ballymoney Show.
Third place in the championship line-up went to a Blue Faced Leicester ewe exhibited by William Adams that had qualified at Antrim Show.
Another ewe exhibited by James Adams, this time a Greyface, took fourth place in the Championship with Allister McNeill taking fifth place with a North Country Cheviot ewe ahead of another Charollais ewe from Diane Christie in sixth place.
Once again this prestigious competition was generously sponsored by Danske Bank with members of the Bank’s Agribusiness Team attending each of the qualifying shows to hand over special rosettes to the winning exhibitors. At the final in Limavady, Debbie Reid and John Henning from Danske Bank were on hand to present the specially commissioned Crystal Trophy to the Champion and Rosettes to the winning exhibitors.
Danske Bank has now supported this NISA Sheep Championship for almost 30 years and John Henning, Head of Agricultural Relations at Danske Bank said: “We are pleased to support the Northern Ireland Shows Association and this important competition for pedigree sheep breeders. We have been delighted to work with the NISA once again and this long term sponsorship reflects our ongoing support for the wider agri-food sector in Northern Ireland.”
He continued: “Once again we had a good display of some of Northern Ireland’s best sheep forward at the final here in Limavady. At Danske Bank we remain committed to the agricultural industry and recognise the important sheep sector in Northern Ireland.”
Also present at the final were Michelle McIlveen, DAERA Minister; Robert Dick, Chairman NISA and Co Londonderry Agricultural Show Society representatives Alwyn McFarlane, Chairman and Ian Mark, Chief Sheep Steward.
Danske Bank and the Northern Ireland Shows Association also thank all of the exhibitors who took part in the competition this year and congratulate all the winners who made it to the final and helped ensure another successful show season for this leading competition.