By Julie Hazelton
THE McGuinness family from
Greysteel in County Lon-donderry had a ‘pure class’ day at the 152nd Balmoral Show, scooping the supreme and reserve overall championships in the British Blue showring.
Their overall winner was the much-admired home-bred heifer Faughanvale Pure Class ET. Born in April 2020, she was sired by Gitan Du Pti’t Mayeur, and bred from the Romancier de Charlevaux daughter and 2008 Balmoral junior champion Faughanvale Cinderella.
Oliver McGuinness and sons An-thony and Christopher also secured the reserve championship title with Faughanvale Peggy ET, a Aughenlay Vagabond daughter bred from the same dam as the show champion.
Welsh judge and British Blue Society president Linda Morgan described the Balmoral breed champion as a stylish heifer with superb ring presence.
“This is the type of heifer I like, and I just couldn’t take my eyes off her.
“She is the complete package, with conformation and mobility to match,” said Ms Morgan, who runs the 15-cow Ty Isuf pedigree herd in conjunction with a 40-cow commercial suckler enterprise.
“The reserve champion is another exceptionally good heifer.
“Bred from the same dam, they are similar in many ways, but the reserve isn’t just as stylish as her herd mate.”
The McGuinness family has been showing British Blue cattle at Balmoral since 2006, and previously claimed the championship in 2010 and 2019. The herd comprises of six pedigree cows, and is managed in conjunction with Foyle View Dairy – a newly launched business making cheese from a herd of 250 milking goats.
There was an all-female line-up at Balmoral, with the award for the best cow going to the Dorman family, Dominic, Cathal, Michaela and Corchennia, from Dungannon. Bred by Daniel Rodgers, the four-year-old cow Ballykeel Matilda was shown with her four-month-old heifer calf Lowtown Rosie. Sired by Heros Du Peroy, and out of Ballykeel Florence, she was the senior heifer class winner at Balmoral Park in 2019.
First-time exhibitors Robert and
Joshua Arrell from Artlone Live-stock, Randalstown, won first prize in the senior heifer class with Solway View Oki Doki.
Purchased privately from breeder Kevin Watret, she is one of three foundation females in the Artlone Herd.
Judge Linda Morgan thanked the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society for inviting her to judge. “This is my first time at Balmoral Show, and I am delighted to be here. I have previously judged the NI club’s herd competition, and the breed classes at Ballymoney Show.”
Results from the judging ring
Wilson Perpetual Challenge Cup for the champion: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness. Reserve: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness.
The Norden Laboratories Salver for the female champion: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness.
Thompson Perpetual Challenge Cup and Tankard for the best junior heifer: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness.
IAM Agricultural Machinery Cup for the best senior heifer: Artlone Livestock.
The Hunter Kane and Son Cup for the best senior cow: HD Dorman and Family.
Balanced Feeds Ltd Shield for the best pair of animals: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness.
Ervine Perpetual Cup for the best pair of animals: Oliver and Anthony McGuinness.
Cow, born on or before 30/9/18: 1, HD Dorman and Family, Dungannon, Ballykeel Matilda by Heros Du Peroy.
Heifer, born between 1/10/18 and 30/9/19: 1, Artlone Livestock, Randalstown, Solway View Oki Doki by Empire D’Ochain; 2, Brian O’Hare, Loughbrickland, Sheehills Normani ET by Bringlee Carlos; 3, Brian O’Hare, Sheehills Noah ET by Bringlee Carlos.
Heifer, born on or after 1/10/19: 1, Oliver and Anthony McGuinness,Greysteel, Faughanvale Pure Class by Gitan Du Pti’t Mayeur; 2, Oliver and Anthony McGuinness, Faughanvale Peggy by Aughenlay Vagabond; 3, Callaghan Family, Kilkeel, Quarrymount Newlife ET by Empire D’Ochain.
Pair, property of exhibitor: 1, Oliver and Anthony McGuinness, Faughanvale Pure Class and Faughanvale Peggy; 2, Brian O’Hare, Sheehills Normani ET and Sheehills Noah ET.