It was reported during this week in September 1970 that Ballyhay, Donaghadee pig breeder, Mrs Elsie Breadon, had completely “swept the board” at the recent show and sale of pedigree Welsh boars and gilts which had been held at the Balmoral showgrounds under the auspices of the Northern Ireland Welsh Pig Association.
Animals from the ‘Ballygrove’ herd captured all the supreme and reserve championships and indeed in two of the classes gilts from the herd had come first, second and third.
The secretary of the Northern Ireland Welsh Pig Association, Mr Alistair MacLurg was very pleased with the numbers on show, which had been up by nearly 50 per cent on the previous year. There were also exhibitors than in 1969.
Mr Paul Mason, Haddenham, Ely, Cambridgeshire, who judged the stock was very impressed with the standard.
He remarked: “Although some of the boars are slightly disappointing, the gilts are really very good.”
The competition among the gilts was so close that Mr Mason had to decide between two of them for the supreme championship he insisted, although no reserve prize was listed, that one should be awarded.
Both animals were shown by Mrs Elsie Breadon, with the championship going to Ballygrove Theresa 14th and reserve to Ballygrove Watchful 16th.
Boars, born December 1969, January 1970 or February 1970 - 1, Mrs Elsie Breadon, Ballyhay, Donaghadee, Ballygrove Peter 8th; 2, Glenshire Pig Breeding Co, Ballygrainey, Bangor, Glenshire Victor 10th; 3, G V Kyle, Deerpark Road, Corrog, Portaferry, Mountindue Victor 2nd.
Gilts, born August to September 1969, 1, 2, and 3, Mrs Elsie Breadon, Ballygrove Sally 68th, Ballygrove Sally 70th and Ballygrove Sally 71st.
Gilts, born October to November 1969, Mrs Elsie Breadon, Ballygrove Theresa 14th, 2, W J Thompson, Magherascouse, Comber, Goldbridge Lucky Girl 49th, 3, David Donnan, Cannyreagh, Donaghadee, Castledunn Watchful.
Gilts, born December 1960 to January 1970, 1, 2, and 3, Mrs Elsie Breadon, Ballygrove Watchful 16th, Ballygrove Theresa 18th and Ballygrove Theresa 17th.
Best pig, winner of the John Thompson Perpetual Challenge Cup, Mrs Elsie Breadon, Ballygrove Theresa 14th, reserve, Ballygrove Watchful 16th.
Best pig, of the opposite breed to the champion, winner of the William Marshall Cup, Mrs Elsie Breadon, Ballygrove Peter 8th.
UIf stock from Mrs Elsie Breadon’s ‘Ballygrove’ herd was successful in the judging ring, it was equally successful in the sale ring.
Ballygrove Peter 8th, a prize winning boar, and the first lot offered, was knocked down at what proved to be the top price of the day - 105 guineas - to Mr William McIntosh, Ballinteer, Macosquin, Coleraine.
Although buyers were not as plentiful as they might have been the 50 boars and gilts on offer met a good trade.
The supreme championship gilt, Ballygrove Theresa 14th, attracted a bid of 82 guineas from Mr James Drumnahir, Newry Road, Banbridge, who also paid 80 guineas for Ballygrove Sally 68th.
Mr E Henning, Carnmean, Sheepsbridge, Newry, paid 78 guineas for Ballygrove Sally 70th, while the reserve champion gilt Ballygrove Watchful 16th went at the same price to Manse Road, Carryduff buyer, Mr Ernest Carson.
Glenshire Victor 10th, a boar, the property of the Glenshire Pig Breeding Co, Ballygrainey, Bangor was sold to Messr Turkington Bros, Tullylagan, Sandholes, Dungannon for 75 guineas.
Another of Mrs Breadon’s gilts, Ballygrove Theresa 17th was purchased by Mr John Corkett, Clare House, Castlederg, with Mr E Henning, going to 66 guineas for Ballygrove Sally 71st.
Bids of 60 guineas from Mr Samuel Nelson, Lower Gransha, Islandmagee, and Mr G V Kyle, Deerpark Road, Corrog, Portaferry, secured Ballygrove Peter 7th - a boar owned by Mr Breadon - and Ballyhartfield, Doagh breeder, Mr James Hagan’s gilt Ballyhartfield Elena 2nd.
Other leading transactions were (prices in guineas):
63 - Mrs E Breadon’s Ballygrove Sally 72rd to Mr James Connell, Mr W J Thompson’s Goldbridge Lucky Girl 49th to Mr James Mawhinney, Crossnamuckley, Newtownards.
57 - Mrs E Breadon’s Ballygrove Watchful 17th to Mr William Stewart, Luneymills, Magherafelt.
55 - Mrs E Breadon’s Ballygrove Watchful 18th to Mr Joseph Bingham, Ballyroney, Banbridge.
53 - Mr D Donnan’s Castledunn Watchful 18th to Mr S J Hughes, Greenhill, Ballygawley.
52 - Mr W J Stevenson’s Hillmount Victor 27th to Mr R J Annett, Ballyloughlin, Dundrum.
42 - Mr G V Kyle’s Mountindue Victor 2nd to Mr Austin Gibson, Dullaghy, Kilrea.