Beef Shorthorns and Salers take Group of Five top spots  

Livestock & Meat Commission May 22, 2024

THERE was a buzz around the cattle lawns as the native and continental interbreed team of five championship got underway on what was a sunny Saturday afternoon at Balmoral Show.

The competition sponsored by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) drew crowds of spectators as the impressive lineup of cattle made their way into the ring. First up were the native breed exhibitors and in the ring were teams from following breeds, Hereford, Beef Shorthorn, Angus, Dexter and Irish Moiled.

The competition class was judged by Colin Fordyce from Perth & Kinross, who carefully considered each of the teams before stepping forward to tap out the Beef Shorthorn team as champion, with the Dexter team taking home the reserve rosettes.

Speaking after conclusion of the judging Mr Fordyce described the Beef Shorthorns as an “even team”, remarking that he noticed the power of the bull and team. Turning to the Dexter’s he said, “I loved them as soon as they came in, again they were an even team.”

Commenting on taking the champion rosettes Mervyn Robinson said, “Four of the team are from Cherryvalley Farms and one from Leanne Green.”

Gill McAreavey of Ballinderry Dexters added that they were thrilled to take reserve champion. She said, “This is a complete first for the Dexters, having never been placed in a group before. To get reserve champion is absolutely amazing.”

The continental teams of five made their way to the cattle lawns swiftly after the conclusion of the native category. Stepping out were exhibitors from the following breeds, Simmental, Limousin, Charolais, British Blonde, British Blue, and Saler.

It was over to judge Colin Fordyce once more to make a call on where the rosettes for 2024 were to go. After some deliberation it was the Saler team tapped out to take the top spot, with reserve champion going to the team of Limousins. Commenting Mr Fordyce described the Saler team as “easy winners”.

Speaking afterwards Declan Ward of the Saler team said, “It’s a good result for a good team. We won the group of three earlier and it’s great to get champion in the group of five.”

Shauna Killen was one of the exhibitors with the Limousin team. She outlined the achievements of the Limousin group which included an impressive number of accolades namely, Limousin champion and interbreed champion, reserve champion and male champion.

LMC chief executive Colin Smith was on hand to present champion and reserve rosettes in both the native and continental categories. Speaking following presentation of the rosettes, Colin 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. Mr Fordyce had no easy task in placing these teams and the standard of livestock on show today is testament to the year-round hard work and dedication of these exhibitors.”

Colin also 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 Fordyce, 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.”