NI Blonde Club reflects on outstanding year

Paul McGarry pictured with judge Alistair Martin and sponsor Martin McGuigan of Oddball Engineering after receiving the Supreme Interbreed Beef Champion and Reserve overall Show champion of the 2012 Lurgan Show.
Paul McGarry pictured with judge Alistair Martin and sponsor Martin McGuigan of Oddball Engineering after receiving the Supreme Interbreed Beef Champion and Reserve overall Show champion of the 2012 Lurgan Show.

AS another year has passed, the hard work and success of the committee and members of the Northern Ireland Blonde Cattle Club did not go unnoticed, with the N.I Blonde Cattle Club holding multiple competitions and events over the last 12 months.

The breed’s success was evident throughout the show season with the breed excelling in interbreed competition in 2012.

The first event held by the Northern Ireland blonde cattle club once again brought large number of members and friends together for the annual Go Karting evening held at the Raceview carting Complex, Ballymena on Friday 17th February. The evening was a great success with members going head to head to see who could take the champion position on the evening. The night got off to a very close start between the McGarry brothers, William McElroy and Ethan Green all within half a second of each other by the second race. The last race took Karl Irvine into poll position with only one hundredth of a second in front of second place, Martin McGarry and Brian McGartland coming in a very close third.

The next meeting on the agenda took the club members to the Top of The Town Bar, Antrim for their annual “Big Quiz Night” were the evening that had been very well attended. David Craig had the task of Quiz Master on the night. The champion team on the evening was the Gribbin and Houston families who had lead from the start of the evening winning by over 70 points. The evening was a great success and had been finished with supper laid out by the club committee.

Tuesday 6th march had taken the Northern Ireland Blonde Cattle Club to the NBA Beef Expo at Dungannon Farmers Mart to host an exhibition stand where information on the British Blonde Breed was available about NI Club members, sponsors, events and competitions that would be held throughout the year, Also present, two top quality cross bred blonde females from one of the top pedigree and cross breeders Kenny & Jessica Archer of the Farlough herd, where it was clear to see that the British blonde breed are a delight to work with from calving to carcass.

In May, it was time again for the Balmoral show. The judge of the Blonde classes for 2012 was Mr. N Brown who had the hard task of choosing champion of the blonde breed. The first class on the agenda for Mr. Brown was the senior cow class, where of R & I McElroy & Son received the red rosette and also received The Irish Club Cup for the first place senior cow, with second place going to Budore Doris of Paul McGarry and family, Dundrod and third place going to the Ballygowan herd of the Gibson family with Budore Amber.

The next class for Mr. Brown was the junior cow class; where the Hillhead Herd of Mr. M Rodgers & Family, Ballynahinich, took first place with their young cow Hilhead Estelle and also received the Morgan Memorial Perpetual Challenge Cup for the first prize junior cow. The Andrew Perpetual Challenge Cup was then awarded for the First prize senior heifer of the Balmoral show to the Coole Herd of H D Dorman & Family with Coole Favorite.

The following class for Mr. Brown was the Intermediate Heifer class where the Hillhead Trophy was awarded to R & I McElroy & Son with their Intermediate heifer Ivaniskey Fancy Pants, with Ardbrook Fifi of R & N McGuigan taking second place.

The junior heifer class was next on the agenda and was awarded to the McGarry Family with their young heifer Budore Garnet and also awarded the D.B.S Farm Supplies Perpetual trophy for the first place junior heifer.

The senior bull class was next, where there was very close completion in the class. The first place was soon awarded to Classic Friend, of H D Dorman & Family of the Coole herd with second place going to the Ivaniskey Herd with their senior bull Doncombe Aga Khan.

Next up was the junior bull class where the M R Rodgers Trophy was up for the taking. With the junior bulls being well matched in nearly all areas, the red rosette was eventually awarded to the Glendoney Herd of Mark Savage with his young bull Glendoney Frostie. The final class of the day for Mr. Neil Brown were the winner of the pairs competition went to the Ivaniskey Herd took first prize with Coole Blondes Coming in second.

The Championships were next, the male championship was awarded to Classic Friend of H D Dorman and Family with Glendoney Frostie taking Reserve Male Champion with the Junior Blonde Champion going to Budore Garnet of Paul Mc Garry & Family and reserve junior Champion to Glendoney Frostie. The female championship followed and was taken by the Hillhead herd with their junior cow Hillhead Estelle and the reserve position going to Ivaniskey Dot.Com.

There was one more task of the day for Mr. Brown it was the Overall Supreme Blonde Championship, This was received by Hillhead Estelle and Classic Friend of H D Dorman & Family taking the reserve overall blonde champion of the show.

Then Ballymena show soon came around. The blonde breed stood out once again, not only in number but by outstanding quality. The Coole Herd H D Dorman went on to take blonde champion of the day with ‘Classic Friend’ the Budore herd of Paul McGarry & Family taking Reserve champion with their senior cow Budore Doris & Calf Budore Helena.

Lurgan show brought great success to the blonde breed, with the Budore herd taking champion and reserve with Budore Garnett (a junior heifer) taking supreme interbreed beef champion of the show and reserve show champion 2012.

Armagh show was a great success for the British Blondes in the Pedigree show rings.The day went off to a great start for the Coole Herd who was awarded the Supreme Blonde championship. The Budore Herd of Paul McGarry took the Reserve Blonde championship with their cow Budore Doris and calf Budore Helena. Alexander Johnston of the Ballymacan Herd and Paul McGarry of the Budore Herd qualified for the final of Bank of Ireland Blonde calf qualifier.

Newry show was next show of the year where Supreme Blonde Champion and Reserve Champion went to the Coole herd. With the Budore herd taking the Genus Champion Interbreed Group of Three on the day.

The blonde breed was out in style with an excellent turn out of cattle for the 145th Annual Castlewellan Agricultural Show. Judging on the day was in the capable hands of Mrs. Sue Archer, no stranger to the show ring herself with her own Blonde herds, taking both breed and Interbreed Championships at shows throughout the UK.

Mrs. Archer had the hard task of judging not only the Final of the Bank of Ireland Blonde Calf Championship but also had the pleasure of judging the Breed classes and championship. Mrs. Archer also commented on the excellent turn out of stock and said that they were a real credit to all those involved. After careful selection and an impressive lineup of first prize winners, she awarded the Supreme Blonde Championship to the Budore Herd of Paul McGarry with their senior cow Budore Doris with the Shanvally Herd of the Savage Brothers taking Reserve Champion.

With Mrs. Sue Archer moving quickly through judging it was now time for the Bank of Ireland blonde Calf Competition. The competition was open to members of the Northern Ireland Blonde Cattle and each animal qualified at selected shows throughout the season. The top position was awarded to the Drumraymond Herd of S & H Griffin taking the champion calf on the day. Taking the reserve position was Mr. G Stranney of the Seaview Herd. A thank you must go to all our sponsors who include, Bank of Ireland, Yodeling Kenny Archer, The Anglers Rest, and Oddball Engineering.

Clougher valley show brought great success for the Ballymacan Herd of Alexander Johnston Receiving the supreme blonde Champion with Coole Blondes as reserve.

As the show season was coming to an end it was time for Antrim show, where once again the NI Blonde Club members had left their mark on the championship classes with the Budore herd taking the interbreed cow champion and Supreme Blonde Champion and Reserve Blonde Champion.

In August club members headed across the water for the national stock judging weekend where we were treated to some exceptional pedigree and commercial cattle, beautiful scenery and great hospitably. A special thanks must go to the Castleview herd of the Rodgersons family, the Maidenlands Herd of the Saunders family and the Shapefell Herd of the Harrison and the North of England Club for a great social weekend.

Over 100 members, friends and sponsors who had came from all over the U.K to support the N.I Blonde Cattle Club on Saturday 10th November for the annual Dinner Dance, held at the Corick House Clougher.

The night got off to a great start with club chairman Paul Gribbin thanking everyone for attending the event and also to The Corick House who had prepared an outstanding meal on the evening. This followed with a presentation of cups and trophies to the members who had participated throughout the years very strong show circuit. A raffle and auction were also held with an outstanding number and quality of prizes on offer on the evening, to raise money for the club. The evening entertainment was provided by Mr. Wesley Tomb “Some Handlin” that made the night very enjoyable.

November for the NI Blonde Cattle Club took the members to the Balinderry Inn, Moira for the AGM. Once again Mr. Ian Buchannan came along to chair the meeting on the evening so that the members could select their new committee for the oncoming year. The following members had been elected where as follows:

Chairman: Paul Gribbin

Vice chairman: John Houston

Secretary: Francis McDaid

Assistant secretary: Alistair Martin

Treasurer: David Gibson

Assistant Treasurer: Paul McGarry

P.R.O: Eamon McGarry

Assistant P.R.O: Wesley Tomb

Fieldsmen: William McElroy, Brain McGartland

Committee members: Rodger Johnston; Charlie Curran; Martin McGuigan

The Club Person of the Year Cup: Wesley Tomb