Heavy downpours fail to dampen competitive spirit at Lurgan Show

Looking over the memories of the event at Lurgan show on Saturday. PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY PHOTOGRAPHY MULTIMEDIA
Looking over the memories of the event at Lurgan show on Saturday. PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY PHOTOGRAPHY MULTIMEDIA

Waterproofs and wellies were the order of the day at Lurgan’s 102nd annual show, held in the Co Armagh town’s public park.

Show society vice-chairman and stalwart David Reilly said it was one of the wettest Lurgan Show days he could remember in 30 years.

However, the heavy rain which was sweeping the country didn’t dampen the competitive spirit of the many livestock, equine and poultry exhibitors who descended on the one-day show from early morning.

Show secretary Michele Doran reported an increased number of trade stands, and said that entries across all sections of the catalogue were on a par with last year.

“Unfortunately, spectator numbers are down compared to the record turnout in recent years, but that’s largely due to the weather.

“Thankfully the rain cleared in the afternoon which helped to encourage late-comers.”

Among spectators at the event were newly elected European Parliament members Diane Dodds and Jim Nicholson.

They were joined by Craigavon Mayor Mark Baxter, Upper Bann MP David Simpson and local Assembly members Sam Gardiner, Sidney Anderson and Jo-Anne Dobson.

A pet show, fun fair and train rides provided entertainment for younger visitors; while the home industries section, vintage vehicle display, old time basket weaving, wood carving and threshing demonstrations attracted strong interest from the older generations.

In the strongly supported cattle section Banbridge judge Robbie Mulligan described the supreme champion of champions as a perfect animal.

He awarded the plaudits to the Jersey and Inter Breed Dairy leader Potterswalls Glams Elisha, bred by the Fleming Family who run a 120-cow Jersey herd at Seaforde, Co Down. She calved her second three months ago and peaked at 36 litres.

Sired by the home-bred AI bull Potterswalls Comerica, this outstanding cow also secured the breed and interbreed championship awards at Balmoral Show a few weeks ago.

Runner-up for the prestigious title was the British Blonde leader and interbreed beef champion Ivaniskey Denise, bred by Ivan and Ruth McElroy and son William from Dromara, Co Down.

This seven-year-old cow was breed champion at Balmoral Show, and was accompanied by her five-month-old heifer calf.

The Holstein champion Glasson Shottle JG Gail VG88 secured the reserve interbreed dairy honours for the father and son team of Philip and Simon Haffey, Portadown.

Backed by six generations of EX dams, this second calver is currently producing 38 litres daily.

Claiming the reserve ribbons in the interbreed beef line-up was Katie, a cross-bred British Blue heifer shown by Sam Matchett, Portadown.