McElroy family target Oz after show success

Sarah Johnston from Cookstown took the title of champion young handler at Clogher Valley Show
Sarah Johnston from Cookstown took the title of champion young handler at Clogher Valley Show

This year’s Clogher Valley Show marked the crowning of a true champion with the awarding of the Beef Inter Breed Championship to the British Blonde Cow Ivaniskey Denise, owned and bred by the McElroy family from Dromore in Co Down.

Mind you, the animal in question is getting used to such accolades as she has found herself in the winning enclosure on many occasions this summer.

Denise is currently in calf to the elite French bull Tino. Hopefully, next year will see the cow safely give birth to her fourth healthy calf.

But after that Australia may well come calling!

“We have recently received an inquiry from the leading Australian breeder Bob Andrews, who wants to buy embryos produced from the cow,” William McElroy told the News Letter.

“He has already bought embryos from her mother and has had tremendous show success with the stock produced in this way. So, flushing Denise next year and producing embryos from a couple of internationally renowned Blonde bulls is certainly an option.”

Judge Hazel McNee, from Dundee, described Denise as a tremendous example of the Blonde breed and added.

“She has tremendous power and strength and the fact that the winning cow has a very promising young calf at foot adds to her quality as a breeding animal,” she said.

The Commercial Beef Championship at Clogher was won by Keith Williamson from Benburb with his eye catching 15-month-old British Blue cross heifer Mia.

“She is home bred and out of a Limousin cross Angus cow,” he told the News Letter.

“This is her fifth Commercial Beef Championship of the year. Our aim is to take the heifer to Fermanagh Show.

“After that we will make a judgment call on entering her for one or other of the Christmas fatstock sales.

“Allams is a definite possibility in this regard.”

Last Saturday saw the Booth family from Co Tyrone secure the runner-s up spot in the Northern Ireland Shows’ Association Dairy Cow Championship at Antrim with their more than impressive Holstein cow Clandeboye Shottle Willow.

However, this achievement was more than surpassed at Clogher Valley Show yesterday when the same animal initially won the Dairy Inter Breed Championship but then went on to ‘carry the field’ by securing the Champion of Champions accolade.

“Willow calved for the third time in January and is currently giving 40 litres of milk per day,” Jason Booth explained.

“She is due to calve again in November to the bull Atwood.

“What made the day complete for us was the fact that her daughter won the heifer championship earlier in the morning classes.”