By Julie Hazelton
A fantastic show, with a tremendous championship line-up and great repre-sentatives of the breed was how English judge David Evans described the Aberdeen Angus entry at the 152nd Balmoral Show.
“It has been another difficult year due to the pandemic, and I’d like to congratulate and thank the exhibitors for supporting the show and preparing animals under challenging and uncertain circumstances. Thanks also to the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society for inviting me to judge,” he said.
Mr Evans, who owns the 75-cow Tree Bridge herd based at Middlesbrough, Cleveland, awarded the female and supreme overall championship ribbons to the junior cow Woodvale Miss Annie U436, bred and exhibited by the Armour family – Alwyn, Carol, Lee, Craig and Adam from Dromara, County Down. The Armour family are no strangers to show and sale success, and were thrilled to secure a Balmoral Show breed championship.
Born in November 2018, and sired by the herd’s stock bull Oak Moor Mr Paul S311, her dam is the home-bred Woodvale Miss Annie N611. The champion was shown in the ring alongside her December-born Oak Moor Lord Ivanho U419 daughter, and is in-calf, due in February 2022, to Woodvale Lord Juggernaut.
“This is a beautiful young cow, and a great example of what the breed needs. She is feminine, has great conformation, and exceptional br-eed character,” said Mr Evans, who recently won the Aberdeen Angus Summer National at the 222nd Westmorland Show with a five-year-old cow.
The Woodvale herd was est-ablished in 1995, and currently comprises of 15 pedigree cows. Miss Annie was reserve yearling champion at the NI Aberdeen Angus Club’s calf show in November 2019.
Claiming the reserve champ-ionship award was the reserve female prize winner Crew Blackbird W892, exhibited by Allen Shortt and Jack Smyth from County Tyrone. Born in January 2020, she was sired by Linton Gilbertines Preacher S088, and is bred from Isauld Blackbird S611.
David Evans added: “The reserve champion is another exceptional female, with great breed type, good structure, and sound mobility.”
The male championship ribbons went to the senior bull Stouphill Eligh U217, owned by barrister Iain Colville, who established his Newtownards-based herd in 2014. Born in April 2018, this bull was a first prize winner at the 2019 Royal Highland Show and was purchased at Stirling for 7500gns as a stock bull for Mr Colville’s 22-cow Glen Cowie herd.
“This is a strong bull with good breed character and conformation. He has great length, and moved well considering his size and weight,” said the judge.
Runner-up for the male champ-ionship title was the junior bull Loughans Moaning W591, bred by former Ulster and Ireland rugby captain Rory Best and father John, from Poyntpass. Sired by Rawburn Jagger Eric R094, this one is out of the home-bred dam Loughans Mertile T305 – one of 60 pedigree cows in the herd.
“This is a lovely young bull with a great future ahead of him,” said David Evans.
Rory Best has recently completed a 180-mile walking challenge from Daisy Lodge in Newcastle, County Down, to Cong in County Mayo. The eight-day trek has raised £700,000 towards the building of the Cancer Fund for Children’s new Daisy Lodge facility in County Mayo.
Results from the judging ring
The Aberdeen Angus Perpetual Challenge Cup for the supreme champion: Alwyn and Carol Armour and Sons. Reserve: Alan Shortt and Jack Smyth.
Award for the junior champion: Alan Shortt and Jack Smyth.
WJ Carson Memorial Perpetual Challenge Cup for exhibitor-bred champion: Alwyn and Carol Armour and Sons.
JD Templeton Memorial Perpetual Challenge Trophy for the best yearling bull: John and Rory Best.
Drumlister Trophy for the best animal of opposite sex to the champion: Iain Colville.
Tyrone Crystal Award for the best pair of heifers: Ian Colville. Reserve: Fintan Keown.
Cow, born on or before 31/12/17 – 1, John and Ann Henning, Moira, Drumcorn Ergessa R186 by Blelack Prince J165.
Cow or heifer, in-milk or in-calf, born in 2018 – 1, Alwyn and Carol Armour and Sons, Dromara, Woodvale Miss Annie U436 by Oak Moor Mr Paul S311; 2, Fintan Keown, Belleek, Home Farm Lady Helena U286 by Relaghan Noel; 3, John and Ann Henning, Drumcorn Lady Ida U492 by Blelack Duke J262.
Heifer, born between 1/1/19 and 31/12/19 – 1, Iain Colville, Newtownards, Glen Cowie Blackbird Special V704 by Blelack Evolution R454; 2, Iain Colville, Glen Cowie Zephyr V715 by Blelack Evolution R454; 3, John and Ann Henning, Drumcorn Lady Ida V665 by Weeton Panther S498; 4, Mena McCloskey, Dungiven, Mogeely Lady Hazel V665 by Laheens Reputation.
Heifer, born on or after 1/1/20 – 1, Alan Shortt and Jack Smyth, Strabane, Crew Blackbird W892 by Linton Gilbertines Preacher S088; 2, Fintan Keown, Home Farm Lady Helen W522 by Haymount War Smith R578; 3, John and Rory Best, Loughans Elana W554 by Rawburn Bannockburn T628.
Bull, born prior to 1/1/20 – 1, Iain Colville, Stouphill Eligh U217 by Duncanziemere Jigsaw N087; 2, John and Ann Henning, Solitude Elite V777 by Netherallan Peter Pershore.
Bull, born on or after 1/1/20 – 1, John and Rory Best, Loughans Moaning W591 by Rawburn Jagger Eric R094; 2, Fintan Keown, Home Farm Edge W507 by West Ellen Diego; 3, Rory and John Best, Loughans Eden W871 by Dartrey Elliott S467.
Pair, property of exhibitor – 1, Iain Colville, Glen Cowie Blackbird Special V704 and Glen Cowie Zephyr V715; 2, Fintan Keown, Home Farm Lady Helena U286 and Home Farm Lady Helen W522; 3, John and Ann Henning, Drumcorn Lady Ida U492 and Drumcorn Lady Ida V665; 4, John and Rory Best, Loughans Elana W554 and Loughans Moaning W591.