Omagh Show: Hazelton family Simmental bull wins tight battle for supreme title

Ellie McLean from Bushmills exhibited the Holstein and supreme overall dairy champion Priestland Shot J Rose, at the 179th Omagh Show
Ellie McLean from Bushmills exhibited the Holstein and supreme overall dairy champion Priestland Shot J Rose, at the 179th Omagh Show

The final cattle class at Saturday’s Omagh Show saw the dairy champion, an elite Holstein fourth calver owned and bred by Bushmills breeder Iain McLean, fight it out with the beef inter-breed champion – a tremendous Simmental bull, owned and bred by the Hazelton family from Dungannon – for the supreme championship of the show accolade.

After a lot of deliberation, the judge – Victor Chestnutt, from north Antrim – gave the nod to the Simmental.

He described it as a majestic animal with tremendous breeding potential.

Jonny Hazelton confirmed that his champion was sired by the renowned Simmental bull Raceview King.

“Our plan is to bring the bull to Stirling in October and see what price he makes in the show ring,” he added.

But coming runner-up in the supreme championship class takes nothing away from Iain McLean’s dairy champion Priestland Shot J Rose. She is a truly majestic dairy cow, currently giving 77 litres of milk per day. She calved for the fourth time back in May.

“We have had a great start to the showing year,” confirmed Iain McLean.

“All of our stock performed extremely well at Ballymena and Ballymoney. Thankfully, we have managed to follow this up with an equally good performance today at Omagh.”

It will be interesting to see how Rose performs in the Northern Ireland Shows’ Association Dairy Cow of the Year final coming up at the end of this month.

A combination of tremendous weather and bumper crowds made Omagh Show 2019 a day to remember for all those involved.

The event saw a record entry of sheep with the supreme interbreed championship awarded to Co Antrim breeder Elizabeth McAllister with her magnificent Beltex ewe. Adding to the significance of her victory was the fact that Omagh hosted this year’s Beltex National Show.

Judge Charlie Boden, from Stockport in Lancashire, described his champion as an almost perfect example of the Beltex breed.

“She has tremendous shape, muscling and mobility. The fact that she has lambed successfully adds to her attraction,” he said.

He added: “Just over 1,000 sheep took part in the various competition classes. It was a tremendous turnout of stock all of which bodes well for the future of the sheep sector in Northern Ireland.”

Omagh Show Society chairman Tommy Harkin described this year’s event as one of the best on record.

“Livestock numbers were excellent across all the various classes,” he said.

“Sheep entries continue to improve with each year that passes and we had a tremendous turnout of both beef and dairy cattle. We can’t ask for anything more than this.”