The winners of the Northern Ireland Hereford of the Year awards have been announced.
Once again the Hereford classes on the local show circuit have been dominated by the elite breeders.
In a keenly contested competition it was relative newcomer Ciaran Kerr who staked his claim early in the season with his newly acquired young stock bull Mullaghdoopoll 1 Elite taking the breed championship in Lurgan following up with overall wins in Saintfield, Newry, and Clogher Valley.
The Clogher success was topped off with a second reserve placing in a very strong interbreed class. Elite proved to be the dominant bull of the show season and was the clear winner of the coveted Bull of the Year and the Polled Bull of the Year awards.
A son of Gouldingpoll 1 Superduty he was bred by Basil Arnold from Killeshandra in Co Cavan and had been shown successfully in the South of Ireland as a yearling before joining the Kerr’s Kinnego herd last autumn.
The Female of the Year was won by James Graham from Portadown with one of the grand dowagers from the Richmount show team. Hilton 1 Delilah has been a notable breeder of successful show cattle over the years. She made a strong start to the show season with a good placing at Balmoral and just kept getting better.
A class win at Armagh was followed a week later by another red rosette at Newry where she was also awarded the reserve overall breed champion. It was a similar result at Antrim and again at the National Show in Enniskillen where she collected another reserve championship and enough points to confirm her place as the Northern Ireland Hereford Female of the Year and Polled Female of the Year.
The horned awards have been dominated by the Corraback herd of Mervyn and Henry Richmond in recent years and 2106 was no exception. Corraback Jedi took the Horned Bull of the Year title following in the footsteps of his sire, Mara Flook who won the award in 2013 and 2014. This yearling has potential as a stock sire and will be offered for sale spring 2017.
Corraback Blossom 3rd was one of the stars of the show season, coming through the junior heifer classes to take two supreme championships on her way to the award of the horned female of the year and overall reserve female of the year 2016. Also sired by Mara Flook her dam Badlingham Blossom 132nd was purchased at the Badlingham dispersal sale in 2012.
Blossom teamed up with Jedi to take the title of progeny pair of the year 2016 sired by Mara Flook.
2017 SALE PROGRAMME
The Elite Breeders sales programme has been announced for 2017. Once again the principal event will be the Elite bull sale to be staged on Monday, February 27, with the spring special sale which was introduced in 2016 to run on 3rd April and will feature a strong entry of breeding females as well as a select offering of young bulls.
All sales are held in the Dungannon Farmers Mart and further details are available from David Smyth on 07808 078 117.