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Impressive champions at Simmental calf show

By Julie Hazelton

THE inaugural Four Breed Calf Show has been hailed as a resounding success, by organisers, exhibitors, sponsors and spectators.

Supported by HVS Animal Health, Oddball Engineering and Dunbia, the multi-breed event featuring British Blue, British Blonde, Saler and Simmental entries was held at Dungannon Farmers’ Mart.

The Simmental section dominated the one-day show with entries coming under the expert eye of breed society vice-president Norman Robson, from the noted 90-cow Kilbride Farm herd based at Doagh, Ballyclare.

“It has been a great day, with a quality entry of calves in all classes. It was encouraging to see a number of new breeders taking part, and the calves were all well behaved, which highlights the docile temperament of the breed.”

Leading the senior championship line-up was the much-admired heifer Ashland Topaz Lopez bred and exhibited by Pat and Frank Kelly from Tempo.

This fourteen-month-old heifer was sired by the 14,000gns Saltire Impressive, and is out of a home-bred Ashland Brandy daughter – one of 10 breeding females in the County Fermanagh herd.

Her dam, Ashland Topaz 2nd, also bred the first prize heifer Ashland Topaz Janet, sold at the NI Simmental Club’s sale in October 2019 to the Barlow family’s Denizes Herd in Lancashire.

Norman said: “This is an excellent heifer, and a tremendous example of the Simmental breed. She oozes style, breed character, and has great conformation. The senior champion is hard to fault, and is an easy winner!”

Runner-up in the senior champ-ionship line-up was the fourteen-month-old bull Lisglass Leo, bred by Leslie and Christopher Weatherup, Ballyclare.

Sired by Islavale Frontier, he is the first calf bred from Lisglass Iona – a daughter of the herd’s stock bull Dermotstown Delboy – 2014 and 2015 Breed Champion at Balmoral Show.

“This is a fleshy young bull, well-muscled and very correct on his legs and feet,” commented the judge.

Claiming the day’s junior champ-ionship title was the 10-month-old bull Ballymoney Martin, bred in Noel and Mae Kilpatrick’s 16-cow herd at Banbridge.

A son of the herd’s stock bull and AI sire Saltire Impressive, he is the fourth calf bred from the Sterling Dubai daughter Sterling Wenona’s Gold – purchased as an in-calf heifer at the Sterling dispersal sale in 2017.

Norman added: “The junior champ-

ion is a well-fleshed and muscly young bull, very correct and well-grown for his age.”

The reserve junior championship was secured by the January-born polled heifer Rehall Moneypenny, bred by William and Keith Stubbs, Irvinestown. A Curaheen Gunshot daughter, she is the third calf bred from the Keeldrum Clio daughter Rehall Holly.

“This is another stylish heifer, well-balanced, very feminine, with nice breed characteristics. She walks well on good legs and feet,” concluded Norman.

First prize in the class for the best pair of calves went to the Wilson family’s Ballinalare Farm Herd based at Rathfriland.

Their winning duo were the April born Camus Brandy daughter Ballinalare Farm Modesty, and the May born Ballinlare Farm Medusa by Ballinalare Farm Galaxy.

The NI Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the Four-Breed Calf Show, especially its sponsors, SFS Plastics, Bimeda, Agrimin and the British Simmental Cattle Society.

Thanks also to judge Norman Robson, and the Wylie family for the use of the excellent facilities at Dungannon Farmers’ Mart.

q Reports from the Blonde, Blue and Salers breeds in next issue

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