For the first time in many years, the name of Border Leicester breeder Mr Robert Mulligan, Brague, Corbet, Banbridge, will not appear in the list of prizewinners at this week’s Dublin show.
Pressure of farm work means that Mr Mulligan will be prevented from showing at Ballsbridge, where he holds the remarkable record of having won the breed championship no less than 10 years in succession.
He told FarmWeek: “Naturally I’m very disappointed that I won’t be at Dublin but the labour situation nowadays has made it impossible for me to spend four or five days away from home at a show.”
Mr Mulligan (pictured) also revealed that while he will be exhibiting Friesians at Balmoral show later this
month, he is not likely to be represented in the Border Leicester ring.
Mr Samuel Black of Cashlandhu, Portstewart, is another Border Leicester enthusiast who has decided to give the “Royal Ulster” a “miss” this year.
“I just haven’t the time for it this year,” he said. “Balmoral is OK for those breeders who live within a reasonable distance of Belfast but for exhibitors like myself the time and cost of travelling is just too much.
“The fact that the RUAS has stopped providing free fodder for the animals in recent years has not helped the position any.”
In the pig section, prominent Carncullagh, Dervock, Large White breeders Messrs J Campbell and Sons will be missing from the “Royal Ulster” while in the Ayrshire cattle ring, animals from the Kilfennan herd of Messrs Herbert Lusby and Son will be conspicuous by their absence.
The Lusbys have, of course, already announced their intention to “retire” from the show arena for a year.