Tralee judge praises quality of Aberdeen Angus herds

Winners of the small herd section,from left: Kevin McOscar, Cookstown, second; Katie and Andrew Browne, Fivemiletown, first; and Kenneth Cartmill, Whitecross, third. Included is judge Matthew Goulding, Tralee, Co Kerry. Picture: Julie Hazelton
Winners of the small herd section,from left: Kevin McOscar, Cookstown, second; Katie and Andrew Browne, Fivemiletown, first; and Kenneth Cartmill, Whitecross, third. Included is judge Matthew Goulding, Tralee, Co Kerry. Picture: Julie Hazelton

The Northern Ireland Aberdeen Angus Club has unveiled the winners of its annual herd competition.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the club’s annual charity barbecue, judge Matthew Goulding from Tralee, County Kerry, praised the quality of the 26 herds he visited.

“I’d like to thank the Northern Ireland club for inviting Rita and myself to judge this year’s competition. We treated this five-day judging stint as our holidays, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality.

“I was genuinely impressed with the quality of the herds taking part in the competition. Both Rita and myself have been touched by the pride and passion that each breeder has for their cattle. The standard has been exceptionally high in all sections, and everybody deserves a prize.”

Matthew Goulding, who runs the Gouldings Herd of 80 breeding females was impressed by the stock bulls put forward for the competition.

“The correct choice of stock bull is important. When looking for my winners I picked bulls that I felt had enhanced individual herds in terms of improving traits such as feet and legs, udders etc,” he said.

The trophy for the best stock bull went to Alan and Lana Cheney’s Blackhawk Edwin R569. They also claimed third prize in the large herd category, and took second prize in the bull calf section with Lana Elian Eric U123.

Matthew Goulding commented on the exceptional quality of 2018-born calves. The trophy for the best overall calf in the competition was awarded to Ember Daniel U402, a January born Cheeklaw Edgar R515 son, bred by Freddie Davidson from Banbridge. Mr Davidson also scooped second prize in the medium herd category.

The futurity heifer class is open to females that produce a calf at 24 months-of-age. The overall winner was Coltrim Diana S421 from the Dartrey Herd of Brian Johnston and Hylda Mills at Scarva. She was purchased at the Coltrim reduction sale in Ballymena.

The trophy for the best cow family went to the Lady Jane family from Sam and Sarah Matchett’s Birches Herd at Portadown.

The small herd section of the competition was won by the Clogher Valley Herd owned by Ian and Gillian Browne, Fivemiletown.

Dessie and Jackie Martin from Saintfield won the medium herd category with their Lisola Herd; while the award for the best large herd went to Robin Lamb’s Richhill Herd.

Concluding Matthew Goulding commented: “Northern Ireland has a strong club, and its members have a common goal when it comes to breeding quality pedigree cattle. There is an excellent pool of Aberdeen Angus genetics, and the herds we visited are a credit to their owners.”

Club secretary Kathy O’Hara thanked Matthew and Rita Goulding for judging the competition, and presented them with a token of the club’s appreciation.

The charity auction was conducted by auctioneer Rodney Windrum. Proceeds of the barbecue and auction were presented to Air Ambulance Northern Ireland.

Results from the 2018 competition include:

Best small herd – 1, Ian and Gillian Browne, Clogher Valley Herd, Fivemiletown; 2, Kevin McOscar, Island Farm herd, Cookstown; 3, Kenneth Cartmill, Drumnahunshin Herd, Whitecross.

Best medium herd – 1, Dessie and Jackie Martin, Lisola Herd, Saintfield; 2, Freddie Davidson, Ember Herd, Banbridge; 3, Robert and Keith Sufferin, Tamneymullan Herd, Maghera.

Best large herd – 1, Robin Lamb, Richhill Herd, Richhill; 2, Victor and Stephen Wallace, Baronagh Herd, Garvagh; 3, Alan and Lan Cheney, Lana Herd, Trillick.

Best stock bull – 1, Alan and Lana Cheney, Blackhawk Edwin R569; 2, Victor and Stephen Wallace, Baronagh Evolution N566; 3, Robin Lamb, Weeton King Lear R452.

Best bull calf – 1, Freddie Davidson, Ember Daniel U402; 2, Alan and Lana Cheney, Lana Elian Eric U123; 3, Adrian and Graeme Parke Strabane, Cloghogmill Eric U546.

Best heifer calf – 1, Adrian and Graeme Parke, Coolermoney Rose U773; 2, Robert and Keith Sufferin, Tamneymullan Jill U864; 3, Frank Moore, Newtownabbey, Crieve Dolly U652.

Best cow family – 1, Matchett Family, Birches Herd, Lady Jane; 2, Eric and Judith McClelland, Brookhall Herd, Banbridge, Verde; 3, Sam McCollam, Priestland Herd, Bushmills, Essie.

Futurity heifer – 1, Brian Johnston and Hylda Mills, Dartrey Herd, Scarva, Coltrim Diana S421; 2, Neville and Ivan Forsythe, Coltrim Herd, Moneymore, Coltrim Princess S443; 3, Frank and George McWhirter, Meadowview Herd, Collone, Logie Ermine S624.