The NI Blonde Cattle club recently announced the winners of its commercial herds competition at the 35th anniversary presentation dinner.
Judging the competition was noted pedigree Blonde and commercial showman and breeder Eamon McGarry from the Budore Herd, Crumlin.
Eamon had a specific type of animal he was looking for ‘that slightly smaller cow with square plates, good width between the hook and pin bones carried up their back’.
Eamon states it takes the Blonde to provide the natural fleshing and muscle to stamp it on the cows progeny to give a carcass demanded by butchers and supermarkets alike.
Some outstanding herds were viewed on both lowland and hill farms confirming the versatility of the Blonde breed. Many of the calves had fatstock potential and it was extremely difficult to separate second from third place so joint second was awarded to Paul McGeary, Dungannon and Brian McKernan, Tassagh.
They both farm high ground and the Blonde sired calves were in excellent condition with good confirmation and length from dams with presence. Paul runs a bull purchased from Paul Gribbin, Islandhill Blondes while Brian runs a homebred bull.
The overall winner was Gordon Williamson from Loughgall. Gordon runs around 45 smart cows of mixed breeding with his Blonde bull Drumraymond Gilroy purchased from Henry Griffin, Toomebridge.
Eamon stated: “The calves are very uniform with extreme confirmation; very impressive given the poor summer to date’. In Eamon’s eyes many of the calves had show potential with plenty of width in their hind quarters, great plates and the power carried through the long middles to their shoulder.”
Eamon said ‘these long calves with clean middles with great locomotion given their outstanding confirmation with soft fleshing across the ribs are exactly what the commercial producer should be aiming for’.
Gordon was the reigning holder of the commercial herds cup proving his commitment to Blondes and his ability to consistently produce quality calves.
Eamon would also like to give a special mention Brian McGartland, Dungannon and Evan Glasgow, Cookstown who’s Blonde Bulls are both doing an excellent job improving the stock on their farms.
The club would like to thank Eamon for judging the competition and Swatragh mart for the kind sponsorship.