It was a case of victory again for Crumlin breeders Charles and Reggie Suffern at the Ballymena Show in 1978, for beginning with the Ayrshire champion at Balmoral they had had an outstanding run of successes at the provincial shows that year.
They topped this at Ballymena by winning the champion animal of the show with an excellent cow which also won the Northern Dairies Cup for the best dairy animal.
The reserve award for the best dairy animal went to a very enthusiastic and dedicated stockwoman, Mrs Brian King from Ballymena. The standard of her Jersey exhibits were well known to all showgoers and with Ballyloughan Joy she was a very worthy reserve winner at her local show.
The beef championship was an arduous task and it took the judges quite some time to make up their minds about the reserve award.
They were all agreed that John Currie’s Charolais bull, Tullygarley Lancelot, was an outstanding winner but they could not make up their minds as to which of the two Simmental bulls should take the reserve award.
Indeed, the Simmental judge, Mr John King, deliberated some time before he placed them in the Simmental classes.
When you watched Mr Eric Cuttle’s Camus Dandy and Mr Bertie Watterson’s Seacombe Edgar being led around the ring it is an impressive sight and all Mr Young could say was: “They are two first class bulls – every judge always dreads being presented with two animals of almost equal qualities.”
In the end each bull shared the limelight for while Camus Dandy got the Simmental championship, Seacombe Edgar took the reserve beef championship award.
Although the weather was not kind the exhibitors brought out their animals in excellent condition and a number of the judges commented on the showing and presentation of the stock.
In the dairy rings, Mrs R Fraser from Perth, was not in the least put out at being the female judge amongst the men or at the bad weather for she was in full concentration in the Jersey ring and was obviously in her element.
She said afterwards: “I am delighted to see such a high standard and I have no hesitation in saying that the champion is one of the nicest I have seen for some time.”
The champion was Mrs B King’s Ballyloughan Joy which took the reserve award for the best dairy animal in the show.
Mr D Gribbon from Somerset had to do a lot of thinking before selecting the Friesian champion and after making his decision he said: “The champion and reserve are outstanding animals. The champion is what I call a very clean dairy cow with a good udder and it was the udder that finally helped me to make up my mind. The reserve animal was not so good in the fore udder as the champion.”
As far as the owners were concerned it did not matter which way he made his decision for both animals belonged to well-known breeder Mr Fred Duncan from Crumlin so he was happy whichever way the decision went.
There was a nice selection of quality animals in the Shorthorn ring and Mr John Farrell from Maynooth described the champion, a bull exhibited by Mr G Purvis and Son, as “a very useful bull and showing very well at just over a year old. He is full brother of the bull which I awarded the male championship to at Omagh show last year”.
In the Ayrshire section it was, of course, Ballyclan Tupip 39th, the winner of the best dairy animal in the show award, who carried off the breed honours and the judge, Mr Frank Dodd, who was the society’s president was a very happy man after his visit to Ballymena.
He said “I am delighted with the turnout here today. In the cow-in-milk class I had a particularly good selection of animals – about 12 or 13 – and all I can say is that they were a credit to the breeders. The first six of them could have been taken to any show.”
Mr Dodd awarded the reserve breed championship to Mr John Hunter’s cow, Ardmore Janet.
Mr Jack Ligget from Tandragee judged in the crossbred ring. Although some of the classes he had were small in numbers he found the standard good.
He said: “Perhaps a few of the animals were on the small side and slightly short of flesh, but overall, the standard was fairly good.”