Beef Shorthorn reigned supreme at the Balmoral Show; the native breed swept the board in the interbreed rings taking the championship native group, native pairs, native threes and the overall supreme individual award.
“The 2019 Balmoral attracted a great turn out of 14 Beef Shorthorn exhibitors from both sides of the border putting Beef Shorthorn back where it belongs,” commented judge, Mark Holmes from Shropshire.
“Their 38 quality entries were testament to Beef Shorthorn, it’s the mother native breed which is currently making huge gains in popularity due to commercial producers’ demand for a functional suckler cow.”
Beef Shorthorn’s successful week began on Wednesday when Mark Holmes pulled out Ricketstown Lovely 19 as his breed champion. “She was my winner as soon as she came in to the ring; in fact, she was the best cow I have ever seen in over 20 years of breeding Beef Shorthorn. She had length, width, good pins and a great udder - well suspended with teats in all the right places, and she was demonstrating plenty of milk. A second calver by Nevada Nitetime, Lovely was shown with her five-month-old, Elliot Matrix-sired daughter at foot. Exhibited by Duncan McDowell, Co. Down, she was purchased privately as a maiden heifer from Martin Kelly, Ricketstown.
On Friday, judge Danny Wylie, from Staffordshire, had no hesitation in tapping out Lovely 191 from 15 breed champions and the commercial beef winner as the overall champion of beef champions. He said: “Choosing the Beef Shorthorn champion was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made in 30 years of judging cattle; she was one of the most outstanding cows I’ve ever seen.” Echoing Mr Holmes’ sentiments, he commented: “Lovely 191 was so impressive, she demonstrated sheer power and presence and was full of character.”
Lovely 191’s success didn’t stop there. Wrapping up the final day at the Balmoral, she was amongst the group of five to take the native group championship along with Beef Shorthorn team mates Caramba Rothes Hottie and Caramba Hotti Koo from Caramba Shorthorns, Kinvara; Ashvale Beatrice from Richard and Fiona McKeown, Ballyclare and Bushpark Sparkler 3 from Andrew Hamill, Antrim.
In the breed lines, reserve Beef Shorthorn ticket went to Creaga Phoenix, a 16-month old bull by Creaga Ltd Edition and whom Mr Holmes forecast had a ‘great future ahead’. He was bred and exhibited by father and daughter partnership, Noel and Lisa Dowd, Roscommon.
The following day Beef Shorthorn was awarded the supreme native beef breed pairs silverware with the Dowd’s Creaga Phoenix and Lancaster Liz 24 of Skaillhouse, a 15-month old heifer by Glenisla Faust from Chris Clarke, Ballymoney. Finally, the pair went on to join Ashvale Beatrice, a yearling heifer by Elliot Matrix from R and F McKeown, Ballyclare, to head the native beef breed team of three.
COW or HEIFER, born in 2016 in calf or with calf at foot: 1, Creaga Macey; Jane’s Kitchen, Ballymena; 2, Caramba Hottiw Koo; Caramba Shorthorns, Kinvara
COW, born on or before 31st December 2015 in calf or with calf at foot: 1, Ricketstown Lovely 191, Duncan McDowell, Newtowwnards; 2, Caramba Rothes Hottie, Caramba Shorthorns
HEIFER, born in 2017: 1, Ashvale Beatrice; R and F McKeown, Ballyclare; 2, Lancaster Liz 24 of Skaillhouse; Chris Clarke, Ballymoney; 3, Caramba Katrina Leanna; Ben King, Ballymena
HEIFER, born on or after 1st January 2018: 1, Caramba Rothes Majestic; Caramba Shorthorns; 2, Della; Timothy Reid, Dungannon; 3, Bushpark Sparkler 3; Andrew Hamill, Antrim
BULL, born on or after 1st January 2018: 1, Creaga Phoenix; Noel and Lisa Dowd, Roscommon; 2, Maximum if Ballyvaddy; T and K Madden, Ballymena; 3, Lowtown Braveheart; HD Dorman and family, Dungannon
Pair of animals: 1, Caramba Shorthorns, Kinvara; 2, Noel and Lisa Dowd
Champion: 1, Ricketstown Lovely 191, Duncan McDowell; 2, Creaga Phoenix; Noel and Lisa Dowd
Junior champion: 1, Creaga Phoenix; Noel and Lisa Dowd; 2, Ashvale Beatrice; R and F McKeown
The NI Beef Shorthorn club are holding a farm walk and charity BBQ in aid of NI Air Ambulance at Greenmount Hill Farm, Glenwherry on Friday 21st June at 7.15pm. Tickets available from club secretary, contact Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org