Co Tyrone farmers take top spot

Tyrone County Winner & Overall  Suckler Herd of the Year winner presented by Mr Harry Marquess to Mr Noel McIlwaine and Co Tyrone Sponsor Nugent Engineering represented by Mr Damian Nugent
Tyrone County Winner & Overall Suckler Herd of the Year winner presented by Mr Harry Marquess to Mr Noel McIlwaine and Co Tyrone Sponsor Nugent Engineering represented by Mr Damian Nugent

Overall Champion of Champion, winning the title of NI Suckler Herd of the Year and a £1000 prize, was awarded to Co Tyrone Farmers Noel and Richard McIlwaine.

With Charolais taking top prices at local markets across the province, it’s no surprise that places were hotly contested for the title “NI Charolais Suckler Herd of the Year”.

Down Count Winner presented by Mr Harry Marquess to Mr Frank Reid with sponsor F S Heron represented by Mr John Henry

Down Count Winner presented by Mr Harry Marquess to Mr Frank Reid with sponsor F S Heron represented by Mr John Henry

The competition attracted significant entries from commercials breeders across the province.

The Northern Ireland Charolais Club, recognises the importance of producing quality beef, and sought to promote and demonstrate the strength of a Charolais sire on the herd.

Club chairman, David Connolly said: “We are delighted with the interest in the competition in its first year, it’s a reflection of the demand for quality beef in the market-place. With Charolais weanlings topping the market, we want to support our local producers in showcasing the quality produce on offer.”

The club encouraged entries from breeders who were focused on the promotion of the best and most sustainable suckler herds in Northern Ireland. With all herds producing commercial calves using a pedigree Charolais bull.

Harry Marquess, well renown Charolais breeder and butcher, took on the task of judging the herds.

The Oldstone Charolais herd has achieved considerable show and sale success over the years and the family butchery in Muckamore, has an enviable reputation for procuring quality produce for local consumers.

Harry was reviewing calving return, calving pattern and carrying out visual assessment on each farm. He remarked on the superb confirmation and quality produce across all farms, saying he was impressed with the length and muscle within the top herds.

Top firms from across the province were also keen to get involved. The Northern Ireland Charolais Club acknowledged that they were indebted to their support for the competition. Results were announced at the club show and sale held in Dungannon market on 3rd November and were awarded as follows.

SAFE (South Armagh Farming Enterprise Ltd) Co Armagh Champion - Douglas McKenzie

Nugent Engineering Co Tyrone Champion – Noel & Richard McIlwaine

Top Stock - Co Fermanagh Champion – David Foster

Bank of Ireland - Co Antrim Champion – Stephen Goudy

FS Heron Feeds - Co Down Champion – Frank Reid

Northern Counties Co-Operative Enterprises Ltd – Co Londonderry Champion – John Campbell.

The Northern Ireland Charolais Club passes on a massive thank you to all competitors and sponsors.