THE Northern Ireland Aberdeen Angus Club held its AGM recently in Dungannon.
Outgoing chairman Alan Morrison welcomed a good turnout of members, and said it had been a difficult number of years with club activities curtailed due to the pandemic.
A minute’s silence was observed in respect of club members who had passed away, or had been bereaved, since the last AGM.
Treasurer Ruth Strain distributed a copy of the financial report and outlined the club’s accounts.
Cathy O’Hara read the minutes from the last AGM, and gave a detailed secretary’s report. “It’s hard to believe our last AGM was in 2019, and there have been a lot of changes to our lives since then.”
The latter part of 2019 was busy, with a good mix of events, and well supported and successful shows and sales.
The club sponsored the Aberdeen Angus classes at Clogher Show, making it the first-ever National Show. The event was well supported by breeders and spectators.
There was a cattle grooming and show preparation course for ‘over-age’ members who didn’t qualify for YDP training. Members also enjoyed a couple of good trips, a well subscribed herds competition and barbecue, and a successful YDP workshop at John Blackburn’s farm. The year finished off with the annual calf show at Dungannon.
Cathy O’Hara continued: “We were just getting 2020 underway, with plans for another busy and enjoyable year, when Covid 19 stopped us in our tracks. The bull sale in February went well; and we were delighted to see club member, Alan Cheney from Trillick, elected as president of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society. Then bang – lockdown!”
The herd competition was the only event on the club’s 2020 itinerary that managed to survive. John Blackburn volunteered to judge the ‘socially distanced’ competition which attracted entries from 18 herds.
Restrictions were eased in early 2021, and with the marts re-opened the club decided to host the February bull sale. There was no pre-sale show, visitors to the mart were limited, but it was a good sale which saw averages increase by £450 on the previous year.
Breeders also witnessed a good demand for pedigree stock at the April sale in Dungannon.
With no summer shows, the club decided to proceed with the herd competition. Opting for local judge Andrew Patterson, judging of the 19 participating herds took part over a three-week period.
Members were delighted when the re-arranged Balmoral Show took place in September. Congratulations to Alwyn Armour and family from Dromara, who not only won the breed championship, but also scooped the interbreed champion of champions award. A marvellous achievement!
Alan Morrison confirmed that Robert Gilchrist had been appointed as the breed society’s new CEO; and outlined changes to DNA testing for male calves.
The YDP workshop will take place on Saturday May 21; the Ulster Championship will be hosted by Armagh County Show on Saturday June 11; and the National Show will take place at Clogher Valley on July 27.
Alan Morrison concluded by thanking committee members for their hard work and support during difficult and unprecedented circumstances. He presented secretary Cathy O’Hara with a token of appreciation for her dedication and assistance during his term in office.
The election of office bearers was conducted by Leo Cherry.
Newly elected office bearers include: chairperson, Hylda Mills, Dartrey Herd; vice-chairman, Ian Browne, Clogher Valley Herd; secretary, Cathy O’Hara, Innisfayle Herd; and treasurer, Ruth Strain, Creevy Herd.
A number of new members were elected to the committee: Mena McCloskey, Ard Dubh Herd; Ivan Forsythe, Coltrim Herd; Peter Lamb, Richhill Herd; and Alan Morrison, Drummeer Herd.
Existing committee members include: James Mallon, Knockoneill Herd; George McWhirter, Meadowview Herd; Gail Matchett, Birches Herd; Alan Cheney, Lana Herd; John Blackburn, Killaney Herd; and Freddie Davidson, Ember Herd.
The evening concluded with the presentation of awards from the 2020 and 2021 herd competitions. Hylda Mills presented the club with new cup for the best newcomer in the herd competition. The first recipients were Gordon and Rachel Elliott, Minran Herd.
The Northern Ireland Aberdeen Angus Club also welcomed Dungannon Rugby Club’s former manager Harold Walker, who was presented with a token of appreciation to mark his retirement.
Herd Competition results
Results from the 2020 Herd Competition:
Small Herd – 1, Rev Sean Moore, Millbrae; 2, Samantha Allen and Allen Shortt, Crew; 3, Kenneth Cartmill, Drumnahunshin.
Medium Herd – 1, Robert and Keith Sufferin, Tamneymullan; 2, Freddie Davidson, Ember; 3, Paul McKenna, Carrow.
Large Herd – 1, Matchett Family, Birches; 2, Hylda Mills, Dartrey; 3, Mark Clements, Clementhill.
Stock Bull – 1, Hylda Mills, Dartrey Elliott S467; 2, Mark Clements, Old Glenort Kingsman S445; 3, Ian Browne, Drummeer Blackburn T457.
Cow Family – 1, Matchett Family, Lady Jane family; 2, Mark Clements, Joyce/Jill family; 3, Rev Sean Moore, Blackbird family.
Bull Calf – 1, Neville and Ivan Forsythe, Coltrim Ellipse W272; 2, Hylda Mills, Dartrey Dev W355; 3, Matchett Family, Birches Belboy W222.
Heifer calf – 1, Robert and Keith Sufferin, Tamneymullan Minnie W111; 2, Rev Sean Moore, Millbrae Blackbeau W865; 3, Samantha Allen and Allen Shortt, Crew Dior V877.
Overall Champion Calf: Robert and Keith Sufferin, Tamneymullan Minnie W111.
Futurity Heifer – 1, Robert and Keith Sufferin, Tamneymullan Jill U864; 2, Hylda Mills, Dartrey Della U843; 3, Frank Moore, Crieve Bonny U674.
Judge’s Prize for best group of yearling heifers – 1, Neville and Ivan Forsythe, Coltrim; 2, Kevin McOscar, Island Farm; 3, Gerard McPeake, Grove Grazer; 4, Kenneth Cartmill, Drumnahunshin.
Results from the 2021 Herd Competition:
Small Herd – 1, Adrian and Graeme Parke, Coolermoney; 2, Gerard McPeake, Grove Grazer; 3, Kenneth Cartmill, Drumnahunshin.
Medium Herd – 1, Hylda Mills, Dartrey; 2, Robert and Keith Sufferin, Tamneymullan; 3, Freddie Davidson, Ember.
Large Herd – 1, Matchett Family, Birches; 2, Mark Clements, Clementhill; 3, Neville and Ivan Forsythe, Coltrim.
Stock bull – 1, Ian Browne, Clogher Valley Evolution R616; 2, Mark Clements, Old Glenort Kingsman S445; 3, Matchett Family, Laheens Rock and Roll.
Cow Family – 1, Matchett Family, Lady Jane family; 2, Gerard McPeake, Penny family; 3, Hylda Mills, Exceed family.
Male calf – 1, Hylda Mills, Dartrey Realdeal X694; 2, Kenneth Cartmill, Drumnahunshin Lord Tom X996; 3, Mark Clements, Clementhill Elixir Lookalike X622.
Female Calf – 1, Adrian and Graeme Parke, Coolermoney Ruth X086; 2, Mark Clements, Clementhill Essie Brooke X541; 3, Matchett Family, Birches Lady Heather X465.
Overall Champion Calf: Hylda Mills, Dartrey Realdeal X694.
Futurity Heifer – 1, Mark Clements, Clementhill Euphrasy V202; 2, Adrian and Graeme Parke, Coolermoney Rachel V913; 3, Hylda Mills, Dartrey Diane V193.
Newcomer Award – 1, Gordon and Rachel Elliott, Minran; 2, Frank Foster, Grainseach; 3, Oisin Murnion, Glenloughan; 4, David Carson, Greyville; 5, Ian and William MacRoberts, Magherally.
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