NORTHERN Ireland was the
venue for the British Sim-mental Cattle Society’s Yo-ung Members’ Association Weekend and National stock-judging competition.
Young members from throughout the UK, and as far afield as Switzerland, attended the recent two-day event.
First stop was a visit to the Robson family’s highly acclaimed 100-cow Kilbride Farm Herd based at Doagh, Ballyclare. The young members were very impressed with the cattle, and in particular the yearling heifers.
Everyone chatted with the Robson family, and were delighted to have an opportunity to ask questions on the various aspects of breeding, rearing and feeding Simmental cattle.
Next stop was the NI Simmental Club’s annual barbecue and charity auction in aid of Air Ambulance Northern Ireland. The visitors really enjoyed the evening, and the chance to meet up with club members from throughout the Province.
The national stockjudging com-petition took place on the Saturday morning, and was hosted by the 40-cow Hiltonstown Herd owned by Richard Rodgers and family, Portglenone.
Master judges for the event were Stuart Stronach from the noted Islavale Herd in Keith, Banffshire, and NI Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club chairman Conrad Fegan, who runs the Knockreagh Herd in Rostrevor.
The young members were out in force, and had four classes of cattle to judge – cows with calf at foot, heifers, and two classes of young bulls.
During the event Holstein UK’s Meurig James discussed the benefits of herd classification, a recently introduced voluntary scheme which gives breeders an independent evaluation of breeding females within the herd.
Meurig gave a very interesting demonstration, outlining the various
traits which make up the overall classification score for each individual animal – body confirmation, breed character, legs and feet, and mam-mary system.
Then it was off to The Jungle near Moneymore for some fun playing Laser Tag.
The results of the stockjudging competition were announced at a presentation dinner in Dungannon that evening.
The ‘home team’ from Northern Ireland dominated the results leader board, with Alice Stubbs from the Drumbulcan Herd claiming the award for the best overall judge. Runner-up was Andrew Clarke from the Breaghey Herd in Armagh.
Results from the national Simmental stockjudging competition include:
Best overall judge: Alice Stubbs (NI). Runner-up: Andrew Clarke (NI)
Award for the best international judge: Sahra Tobler (Switzerland)
Best reasons, junior – Aimee Stronach (Scotland)
Best reasons, senior – Andrew Clarke (NI)
Shield for the best under 16 judge: Molly Bradley.
Shield for the best under 21 judge: Jonny McCammond.
Junior team – 1, Jonny and Gary McCammond (NI); 2, Molly Bradley and Cara Moore (NI); 3, Aimee and Emma Stronach (Scotland).
Senior team – 1, Andrew and Zara Clarke (NI); 2, Heather Duff and Harry Houldey (Scotland); 3, Josh Armstrong and Gareth Wilson (NI).
Junior individual – 1, Molly Bradley (NI); 2, Jonny McCammond (NI); 3, Gary McCammond (NI).
Senior individual – 1, Alice Stubbs (NI); 2, Andrew Clarke (NI); 3, Chris Boyd (NI).
Open class – 1, Chris Weatherup, Ballyclare; 2, Matthew Cunning, Glarryford; 3, Norman Robson, Doagh.