Ballymena Show 2022: Outstanding Holstein cow sweeps the boards

An outstanding Holstein cow carried the day at this year’s Ballymena Show.

By Richard Halleron
Sunday, 19th June 2022, 3:47 pm

Damm Fitz Beth, from the Lisburn-based Damm Herd of the Simpson family, started her day by winning the Holstein breed championship at the event. She then progressed to scooping the Interbreed dairy title.

The last class of the afternoon saw her in the ring with the Beef Interbreed winner, to determine the overall Champion of the Show.

Judge Brian Weatherup, from Fife in Scotland, takes up the story: “She is a tremendous young cow. I couldn’t fault her. She has tremendous breed character and also has the scope to produce large quantities of milk over many lactations.”

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The Champion of Ballymena Show 2022 - Damm Fitz Beth with breeders David Simpson and judge Brian Weatherup, from Fife in Scotland

David Simpson was the man charged with the responsibility of managing Fitz Beth in the ring. He commented: “We have a robotic milking system at home. This means that we get detailed performance updates on each animal within the herd on a daily basis.

“The cow gave almost 13,000L of milk during her first lactation. She is currently 275 days into her second lactation, and will calve for third time in November. Fitz Beth is currently giving 48L of milk per day: she peaked at 65L.”

Looking ahead, the Damm herd will be well represented at the Summer Sizzler pedigree Holstein sale taking place on July 03.

“We will be offering the heifer in milk champion from this year’s Balmoral Show at the event,” David confirmed.

Deerpark Saffron - the Beef Interbreed champion at Ballymena Show 2022 with breeder Connor Mulholland and judge Pat McClean

Meanwhile Co Donegal judge, Pat McClean, was extremely happy with his Beef Interbreed champion at Ballymena Show 2022.

The animal in question was a tremendous Limousin heifer bred and exhibited by Connor and Ryan Muholland, from Glenavy in Co Antrim.

Deerpark Saffron was born on February 07 2021. She was sired by Gerrygullinane Glen.

“The heifer is a tremendous example of the Limousin breed,” confirmed McClean.

Enjoying their day-out at Ballymena Show 2022: l to r - Andrew Torrie, Emma Adams, Zoe Adams and Alex Adams, all from Ballymena

“She has tremendous style and class.”

According to Connor Muholland, the heifer will be settled in calf later in the autumn.

“She is having a tremendous show season,” he confirmed.

“Saffron was selected as the Reserve Interbreed champion at Lurgan Show.”

Meanwhile the 2022 show season just continues to improve for Co Down Suffolk sheep breeder Mark Priestly.

His shearling ewe won the Sheep Interbreed championship at Ballymena, following-on from its sweeping-of-the boards at Armagh last week.

Interbreed judge Iain Minto, from Biggar in Lanarkshire, confirmed that his champion has true Suffolk character, amazing stature and all-round presence.

He added: “The standard of sheep taking part in this year’s show was tremendous, right across the board.

“I would like to congratulate all of the breeders taking part.”

The young Suffolk shearling truly stood out from the other sheep that lined-up for the interbreed class at Armagh. But according to Mark Priestkly, it’s time to give the young animal a rest.

“The priority now is to get her in-lamb,” he said.