Many of the 45 Ulster exhibitors who braved the bitterly cold weather and icy roads to attend the Royal Dublin Society’s spring show at Ballsbridge last week were amply rewarded.
It was a memorable day in particular for Mr Fred Short of Donaghanie, Beragh, Omagh, and well known Friesian breeder Mr David Heenan of Barbican Farm, Newcastle.
In the Aberdeen-Angus section, Mr Short’s only entry, a 15-month-old bull – Rocket of Aughnagill – carried off all the top honours. It was the bull’s first appearance in the showring.
Commented Mr Short’s son James – “He is one of the best bulls we have ever bred and I’m not a bit surprised he did so well. He is a really exceptional animal.”
In addition to winning the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society’s trophy for the supreme champion, Rocket of Aughnagill won the prize for the best Ulster breeder and a first place class award.
In the Friesian section, Mr David Heenan completed a remarkable “double” with his 15 month old bull, Barbican Saul – this year’s champion at Balmoral – when he showed him successfully to take the Friesian Breeders’ Association’s silver tankard for the show champion.
Mr Heenan said competition at the show was “somewhat tougher” than experiences at Balmoral the previous week.
“But then entries were, on a whole, of a higher standard,” he added.
It was in the Aberdeen-Angus showring that Northern Ireland-bred animals excelled.
The Royal Dublin Society’s silver medal for the best bull calved between December, 1967, and July, 1968, went to Ballyhemlin Gambler, an 11 month old bull shown by Tullywest, Saintfield, breeder, Mr R A McBride, while the reserve champion award and the reserve group of three prizes went to animals from the farm of Mr John W Veitch, of Lisbellaw.
Of the nine Aberdeen-Angus classes, Northern exhibitors won five first place awards, four seconds and four third place prizes.
A regular visitor to the Dublin spring show during the last eight years has been Mr William Wallace of Braniel, Castlereagh, Belfast.
He usually brings one of the top Friesian prizes back North with him and this year was no exception. His 19 month old bull, Braniel Uniform was selected as the reserve Friesian champion by Judge Mr B D Draper, of Shrewsbury.
Ulster had quite a representation of Dairy Shorthorns which took their share of honours, including the reserve placings in two of the “special” classes.
The reserve prize for the best group of three Dairy Shorthorns went to Mr Edward Gregg, Newtownbutler, and the reserve prize for the best bull calves between September, 1966, and June, 1968, went to Mr Alexander Warnock, of Cookstown.