Females dominate British Blue line-up

Keeping an eye on the British Blue judging at Balmoral Show are Basil Dougherty, Kircubbin; and Jonny Young, Banbridge. Picture: Julie Hazelton
Keeping an eye on the British Blue judging at Balmoral Show are Basil Dougherty, Kircubbin; and Jonny Young, Banbridge. Picture: Julie Hazelton

A tremendous show with very good animals in every class was how judge Jonathan Watson described the British Blue entry at the 151st Balmoral Show, writes Julie Hazelton.

Making his first visit to Balmoral Park, Jonathan said he was impressed with the quality of cattle, and congratulated the breeders on their success.

The McKnight family from Newry won the award for the best pair of British Blue cattle at Balmoral Show. Picture: MacGregor Photography

The McKnight family from Newry won the award for the best pair of British Blue cattle at Balmoral Show. Picture: MacGregor Photography

Mr Watson dispersed his noted Tweeddale Herd two years ago, but continues to run a herd of 200 pedigree Charolais and Limousin cows at Bowsden Moor, Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Claiming the day’s female and supreme overall championship ribbons was the senior cow Castletrench Delia exhibited by the father and son team of Oliver and Anthony McGuinness from Greysteel, County Londonderry.

Bought privately in 2018, she chalked up a number of championship awards last year for the family’s 15-cow Faughanvale herd. Sired by Empire D’Ochain, this cow is almost ten-years-old and is in-calf to Tweeddale Ebony.

“The champion is a very powerful and correct senior cow. She has a good shoulder, and is full of meat right down to the bottom of her thigh. A worthy winner with ring presence, and good locomotion.”

Reserve male champion was the second placed junior bull Springhill Norman bred by James and Sam Martin, Newtownards. Picture: MacGregor Photography

Reserve male champion was the second placed junior bull Springhill Norman bred by James and Sam Martin, Newtownards. Picture: MacGregor Photography

James Martin, and son Sam, from Newtownards, scooped the reserve female and reserve supreme championship awards with their home-bred heifer Springhill Noelle. This January 2018 heifer also chalked up the junior championship award.

Sired by Solway View Dynamite, she is bred from Springhill Karla – one of 15 breeding females in the herd, and winner of the reserve breed championship at Balmoral Show in 2017. This heifer is no stranger to the showring, having won the NI club’s calf show last year.

Jonathan Watson added: “The reserve champion is a very clean, sweet and stylish heifer. She walks well, and is full of meat from her plates down to her thigh. This is definitely one to watch in the future!”

The McGuinness family also secured the male championship with the home-bred Faughanvale Ned. Born in February 2018, he is by Empire D’Ochain, and bred from the 2016 Balmoral reserve champion Trenchcrom Immie. This one is destined for the breed society sale in Carlisle next year.

Senior heifer class winner was Ballykeel Matilda owned by the Dorman Family from Dungannon. Picture: MacGregor Photography

Senior heifer class winner was Ballykeel Matilda owned by the Dorman Family from Dungannon. Picture: MacGregor Photography

“The male champion is a heavily muscled young bull. He is very square, carries himself well, and has a lovely head and great breed character,” added the judge.

Runner-up for the male championship ribbons was the Martin family’s second placed junior bull Springhill Norman. Also by Empire D’Ochain, he was born in April 2018, and is bred from the noted show cow Springhill Golden Girl – five times Balmoral supreme champion, and winner of the 2016 interbreed award.

Jonathan Watson commented: “The reserve male champion is another one to watch in the future. He is clean throughout, has great conformation and good locomotion.”

Results from the judging ring:

Male champion and reserve junior champion was the McGuinness family�"s Faughanvale Ned. Picture: MacGregor Photography

Male champion and reserve junior champion was the McGuinness family�"s Faughanvale Ned. Picture: MacGregor Photography

SPECIALS

Wilson Perpetual Challenge Cup for the champion: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness. Reserve: James and Sam Martin.

British Blue Cattle Society Award for the junior champion: James and Sam Martin. Reserve: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness.

The Herdbook Cup for the best junior bull: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness.

The Norden Laboratories Salver for the female champion: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness. Reserve: James and Sam Martin.

The Norden Laboratories Salver for the male champion: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness. Reserve: James and Sam Martin.

Junior champion, reserve female and reserve supreme champion at Balmoral Show was Springhill Noelle bred by James and Sam Martin, Newtownards. Picture: MacGregor Photography

Junior champion, reserve female and reserve supreme champion at Balmoral Show was Springhill Noelle bred by James and Sam Martin, Newtownards. Picture: MacGregor Photography

Thompsons Perpetual Challenge Cup and Tankard for the best junior heifer: James and Sam Martin.

IAM Agriculture Machinery Cup for the best senior heifer: HD Dorman and Family.

The Hunter Kane and Son Cup for the best senior cow: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness.

The Humberclyde Cup for the best senior bull: Melvin Masterson.

Balanced Feeds Ltd Shield for the best pair of animals: McKnight Family.

Ervine Perpetual Cup for the best pair of animals: McKnight Family.

CLASSES

Cow, in-calf or in-milk, born on or before 30/09/16 – 1, Oliver and Anthony McGuinness, Castletrench Delia ET by Empire D’Ochain; 2, Basil Dougherty, Greenfield Ellie Mae by Hazelwood Freshman.

Heifer, born between 01/10/16 and 30/09/17 – 1, HD Dorman and Family, Ballykeel Matilda by Heros Du Peroy; 2, Chelsea Best, Island Lucy ET; 3, Basil Dougherty, Greenfield Madonna by Philipper de Remichampagne.

Heifer, born on or after 01/10/17 – 1, James and Sam Martin, Springhill Noelle by Solway View Dynamite; 2, Oliver and Anthony McGuinness, Faughanvale Natasha by Tweedale Ebony; 3, JCB Commercials, Solway View Montanna by Tweeddale Ironman.

Bull, born on or before 30/09/17 – 1, Melvin Masterson, Boroside Luke by Dafydd D’Ochain.

Bull, born on or after 01/10/17 – 1, Oliver and Anthony McGuinness, Faughanvale Ned by Empire D’Ochain; 2, James and Sam Martin, Springhill Norman by Empire D’Ochain; 3, James and Sam Martin, Springhill Nuggett by Solway View Dynamite.

Pair, property of exhibitor – 1, McKnight Family, Silverwood Nevin by Tweeddale Guinness, and Silverwood Nora by Auchenlay Hitman; 2, James and Sam Martin, Springhill Norman and Springhill Nuggett.

Anthony McGuinness, Greysteel, exhibited the senior cow Castletrench Delia, winner of the female and supreme overall British Blue championships at the 151st Balmoral Show. Picture: MacGregor Photography

Anthony McGuinness, Greysteel, exhibited the senior cow Castletrench Delia, winner of the female and supreme overall British Blue championships at the 151st Balmoral Show. Picture: MacGregor Photography