Ballymena Show: Dermotstown Delboy sweeps the board on last appearance

Claire McIlwaine with her Border Leicesters at Ballymena Show on Saturday
Claire McIlwaine with her Border Leicesters at Ballymena Show on Saturday

Christopher Weatherup, from Ballyclare in Co Antrim, carried the field at the weekend’s Ballymena Show, winning the Simmental, Beef Inter-Breed and Supreme Cattle Championships with his elite Simmental Bull Dermotstown Delboy.

In so doing he added to the Simmental Championship which he won at Ballymena with the same animal in 2014.

Judge John Gilmore at Ballymena Show on Saturday

Judge John Gilmore at Ballymena Show on Saturday

“We bought him at 11 months of age, after seeing him compete in a young bull class at Tullamore Show back in August 2013,” said Christopher.

“He stood out that day and has not disappointed since, given his achievements over the past couple of years. These include the winning of the Simmental Championship at this year’s Balmoral Show.

“We are currently using him as a stock bull and he really is shaping up to be a very special addition to our own Lisglass herd.

“This was his last show. He has achieved everything that we could have expected from him.”

Judge Billy Robson described the line-up of cattle for the beef inter breed championship class at this year’s show as truly elite.

“But Weatherup’s bull stood out as a breeding animal with immense strength and beefing quality,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the dairy rings the McLean family from Bushmills had an equally successful day.

They presented all of the cows selected for the event’s Inter-Breed Dairy Championship class: two Holsteins; two Ayrshires and one Shorthorn.

The inter breed champion – Marleycote Sea Lily 14 – is owned in partnership by Iain McLean and his good friend Sidney Cromie.

The Ayrshire cow won her production class at Ballymena and then went on to take the overall dairy championship. She was the Ayrshire champion at last December’s Royal Ulster Winter Fair.

“Lily calved for the third time on November 16 last year and she is due to calve again on that exact same date in 2015,” Iain confirmed.

Well over 800 sheep took part in the various show classes catalogued for Ballymena – a record entry for the event. John Gilmour, from Ayrshire, judged the Supreme Sheep Inter-Breed class. He described his champion – a Border Leicester shearling ewe from the Ballymena flock of Harold Dickey – as an “outstanding example of the breed”.

This was Dickey’s first inter-breed championship success at Ballymena.

“She was born just over 12 months ago and gave a good account of herself at Balmoral Show a few weeks ago,” he said.

“Our plan is to put her to the tip in the autumn.”