By common consent the quality of cattle entered for this year’s Newry Show was outstanding.
But above all else it was a day on which the true quality of pedigree Hereford breeding in Northern Ireland came to the fore.
The Graham family, from Portadown, had a day out to remember, winning both the Hereford and Native Breeds’ championship with their elite young bull Richmount 1 Rockafella.
He was sired by the renowned polled Hereford sire: Grousehall 1 Premier, one of the most renowned polled bulls in the world of Hereford cattle breeding.
Polled cattle are born without horns and are in growing demand, given the significant management advantages they offer farmers.
James Graham explained: “Polled Herefords are now recognised as a separate category within the Hereford register.
“Rockafella also had a good Balmoral Show. He has great breeding potential future for the future.”
The Continental Inter-Breed Beef champion at Newry Show was bred and exhibited by William Nesbitt and his son Roy, from Armagh. Their 13-month Limousin heifer, Lisdrumard Olivia, really caught the eye of the judge, David Clarke, from Mullingar in Co Westmeath.
“She is a very sweet animal,” he said. “The heifer has tremendous breadth and length. She has the makings of a great breeding cow. I was drawn to her the minute she walked into the ring.”
The Dairy Championship went to an excellent first calved heifer – Bannwater Beemer Sheba. Owned and exhibited by Andrew Magowan, from Rathfriland, she calved back in February.
“I am very happy with the heifer,” said Andrew. “She is currently giving 35L of milk per day with good butterfat and protein. Her dam and grand dam are still in the herd, so there is plenty of longevity in her breeding.”
Large crowds marked the official opening of Newry Show’s new grounds on lands adjacent to Bessbrook. The morning of the event saw heavy showers freshen-up the proceedings but they did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the many people from the South Down and Armagh areas, who had come to enjoy a good day out. And they weren’t disappointed.
“This is our 151st annual event,” confirmed Newry Show secretary Brian Lockhart “The new venue represents the next chapter in what has become one of the most successful development stories within Northern Ireland’s farming and food sectors.”