Leading Aberdeen-Angus breeder passes away

Aberdeen Angus Society'Bob Campbell
Aberdeen Angus Society'Bob Campbell

Leading Ulster Aberdeen-Angus breeder and former president of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, Bob Campbell, of Seaforde, Co Down, has died at the age of 83.

His Drumlister herd, which he founded in the late 1970s, become one of the most prominent show herds in Northern Ireland and led the renaissance of the Aberdeen-Angus breed in the province, breaking the dominance of the Continental breeds in interbreed competitions at shows such as Lurgan and Saintfield.

He had the distinction of winning the Aberdeen-Angus championship at the Royal Ulster Show no fewer than nine times with seven different animals between 1981 and 1998 when he bowed out from showing by winning both the championship and reserve and taking first prize tickets with most of his other entries.

He also won the All-Ireland Aberdeen-Angus championship at Clogher Valley Show in 1994 with Mary of Drumlister.

Mr Campbell served as president of the Irish Aberdeen-Angus Association in 1997/98 and was elected president of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society in 2000.

He represented the association at the World Aberdeen-Angus Forum in Australia in 1997 and during his presidency, had the honour of presenting a painting of the bull, Castle of Mey Elscott, on behalf of the society to the late Queen Mother on the occasion of her 100th birthday.

He was particularly proud that his daughter, Ann, and son-in-law, John Henning, won the male and reserve supreme championship at the Royal Highland Show during his presidential year with their stock bull, Ballamanaugh Estefan, which he had previously owned.

Mr Campbell was elected to the society’s panel of judges in 1987 and was much sought after as a judge, officiating 
at many shows, including the Royal Highland and Royal, 
as well as at the Perth bull sales.

He was also a past member of the council of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society.

Born at Omagh, Co Tyrone, Mr Campbell attended Omagh Academy and went on to enjoy a varied career in the Northern Ireland Civil Service. He was a keen sportsman in his younger days, excelling at cycling, rugby and athletics.

He was also a piper with the Upper Crossgare Pipe Band who were World Pipe Band Champions in 1977-78 and a poet of some note, having had a book of poems published in 1991 for charity.

Mr Campbell is survived by his wife, Florence, children, Ann, Keith, Paul and Jill and brother, Jackie.