Hackney Wonderboy takes the title

Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock with her class winning Shearling Ewe and Reserve Female Champion, Artnagullion Basha
Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock with her class winning Shearling Ewe and Reserve Female Champion, Artnagullion Basha

For Co Fermanagh Beltex breeder, Matthew Burleigh, his Aged Ram, Hackney Wonderboy, is proving to be exactly that – a Wonderboy!

He was named Supreme Champion in the Beltex classes at the Balmoral Show going one better than last year’s performance at the annual showpiece when he took the Reserve Champion honours.

Judge Colin Barnes described Matt’s three Shear Ram, which is also the current Irish Beltex Sheep Breeders Club National Champion, as “an excellent, well-muscled sheep”.

On the day Matthew Burleigh was also awarded a second place in the Shearling Ewe class, a second in the Aged Ewe Class and a third in the Ram Lamb Class.

A home-bred Aged Ewe, Artnagullion TT, from Elizabeth McAllister’s Artnagullion flock based in Kells was named Reserve Champion.

All-in-all, Elizabeth McAllister had a tremendous show at this year’s Balmoral, coming first in the ewe two-shear and upwards class, rearing or having reared a lamb in 2017, first in the Shearling Ewe class, first in the Ram Lamb Class and first in the Ewe Lamb class as well as taking top spot in the Group of three and the pairs along with Reserve Female Champion and Reserve Male Champion honours.

Winning pair, Artnagullion Flock, Kells. Showing the pair are Elizabeth McAllister and James Fullerton

Winning pair, Artnagullion Flock, Kells. Showing the pair are Elizabeth McAllister and James Fullerton

Artnagullion TT also picked up the Brendan Arthurs Perpetual Challenge Cup for best home-bred sheep.

Judge Colin Barnes described Artnagullion TT as “an outstanding example of the Beltex breed – a sheep physically correct in every respect, which is not always easy for a working mother”.

Patrick Brolly’s Munreary flock, Claudy, took first and third places in the Shearling Ram Class.

Interestingly, one of the Irish Club’s youngest flock owners, Miss Hayley Mackey from Lisburn, who is only two years old, had her Ewe, two-shear and upwards, finish in third place.

Two-year old Hayley Mackey gives mum, Marlene Robinson, Macro Pedigree Beltex, Lisburn a helping hand

Two-year old Hayley Mackey gives mum, Marlene Robinson, Macro Pedigree Beltex, Lisburn a helping hand

Club secretary, John Harbinson from Limavady had a second place in the Ewe Lamb class while Beltex stalwart, David Brown and grandson, Mark Latimer from Bessbrook, finished second in the Ram Lamb, Shearling Ram and the Aged Ram classes.

Commenting on the entries overall judge Colin Barnes said: “There was quality in-depth in all classes.

“I am very happy with the standard of all sheep presented and this augurs well for the future of the breed.

“Personally, as a Beltex breeder, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate in the Beltex classes especially those who are new to showing and I look forward to seeing all of them progress in the years ahead.”

This year’s Beltex classes were sponsored by the ABP Food Group.

Balmoral Show Results 2017

Judge: Mr Colin Barnes, Dungannon.

Class 163

Ram two shear and upwards

1st Matthew Burleigh, Matt’s Flock

Patrick Brolly, Munreary Flock, winner of the Shearling Ram class

Patrick Brolly, Munreary Flock, winner of the Shearling Ram class

2nd David Brown, Brownville Flock

Class 164

Shearling Ram

1st Patrick Brolly, Munreary Flock

2nd David Brown, Brownville Flock

3rd Patrick Brolly, Munreary Flock

Class 165

Ewe, two shear and upwards, rearing or having reared a lamb in 2017

1st Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock

2nd Matthew Burleigh, Matt’s Flock

3rd Miss Hayley Mackey, Macro Flock

Class 166

Shearling Ewe

1st Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock

2nd Matthew Burleigh, Matt’s Flock

3rd Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock

Class 167

Ram Lamb

1st Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock

2nd David Brown, Brownville Flock

3rd Matthew Burleigh, Matt’s Flock

Class 168

Ewe Lamb

1st Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock

2nd John Harbinson, Glenkeen Flock

3rd Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock

Pair of Lambs

1st Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock

Group of three

1st Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock

Female Champion

Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock – Ewe two shear and upwards

Reserve Female Champion

Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock – Shearling Ewe

Male Champion

Matthew Burleigh, Matt’s Flock - Ram 2 Shear and Over

Reserve Male Champion

Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion Flock – Ram Lamb

Overall Champion

Matthew Burleigh, Hackney Wonderboy, Matt’s Flock

Reserve Champion

Elizabeth McAllister, Artnagullion TT, Artnagullion Flock