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THERE was an air of excitement at Balmoral Show on Saturday as the native and continental interbreed team of five championship got underway on the cattle lawns.
Spectators gathered as exhibitors made their way to the showring for the competition class, sponsored by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).
First into the ring were the contenders for the native breed category. The superb line-up, hoping to find favour with the judge included, Irish Moiled, Beef Shorthorn, Dexter, Hereford and Angus cattle.
The class was competently judged by Glasgow man, George Harvey who took some time to examine each of the animals before stepping forward to tap out the Beef Shorthorn team as this year’s champions. He then moved swiftly to place the Hereford team as reserve champions.
Among the champion grouping was Leanne Green’s bull from her Derriaghy Beef Shorthorn herd near Lisburn. Noting that Balmoral had provided pleasing results for her personally Ms Green said, “This is my second Balmoral and it has been a pretty amazing week. The bull won the overall male championship in the Beef Shorthorns, and we won the group of three on Friday and were reserve champions in the pairs. To now have won the group of five is a dream come true.”
The Hereford team were entered by the Northern Ireland Hereford Association. Speaking on behalf of the reserve champion grouping John McMordie said, “It has been a very good show for Hereford’s. For the group of five, getting five that are balanced is what the judge is looking for.”
The continental teams of five had a hard act to follow, but the well balanced groups effortlessly made their way to the showring for what promised to be another stand out competition. Judging for this competition class was again placed in the capable hands of Mr Harvey.
After some deliberation it was the Limousin team tapped out to step forward and take the champion’s title, with the Charolais team following as reserve champions.
Speaking on behalf of the Limousin team, Trevor Shields said, “I think they are a very balanced team, right through from the bull to the last heifer. They come from an outstanding team of Limousins that have been shown this week. There are a lot of very high quality cattle and I think the team that was selected was very good.”
The Charolais breed also celebrated success at Balmoral. David Connolly of Brigadoon Charolais, part of the reserve beef group of five noted, “In our team we had our stock bull Balmyle Sandy, a first calving cow and three young heifers. We had a well balanced team, representing the full breadth of the breed from bull, through to cow and heifers. Balmoral has been an excellent show for myself personally we have won the supreme champion sponsored by LMC on Friday, and won the pairs. Now we have taken reserve in the team of five.”
Following presentation of rosettes LMC board member Joe Stewart said, “On behalf of LMC I wish to extend congratulations to all those taking home well-deserved titles from this year’s beef group of five championship in both the native and continental classes. The standard of entries was extremely high and this is testament to the year-round hard work and dedication of these exhibitors.”
LMC chief executive Ian Stevenson extended the Commission’s thanks to all those involved in planning and co-ordinating the event. He said, “LMC was delighted to provide sponsorship for this event. We wish to take this opportunity to thank the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) for facilitating this competition, Mr Harvey, for giving of his time and expertise to judge the competition and finally, all exhibitors; events like this would not be possible without their unwavering passion and commitment to showcase the very best of our local livestock.”
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