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Conlon tops NI herd competition

Northern Ireland Hereford Breeders’ Association president Stephen Baxter’s farm on the outskirts of Armagh was the venue for this year’s Hereford Breeders BBQ and herds competition.

With around 150 people in attendance, visitors were invited to compete in a stockjudging competition and a tour of the Umgola herd’s cows and calves before sitting down to a delicious barbecue of Hereford steaks kindly supplied by Dunbia.

The judge for this year’s competition was the vastly experienced Robert Shaw of Hallwood Herefords, Cheshire. Having judged many herd competitions all over the UK, Robert was up to the task and with over 20 herds across Northern Ireland to be assessed, he fully enjoyed the task in hand.

Having completed his full week of judging Robert said that he was very impressed with the size, structure and overall quality of the cattle presented before him.

He was also very encouraged with the number of young people involved in the breed. Robert remarked: “The knowledge and enthusiasm of the young people I have met on my visits this week assures me that the Hereford breed is in very good hands in Northern Ireland.”

Leading the way and taking the overall large herd award was John Conlon, Markethill with the Drumatee herd. Taking the title of best herd in Northern Ireland for the second year in a row, he also picked up best stock bull for Cill Cormac Nevada. The judge noted his calves are very consistent and of great quality and he certainly had made his Mark on John’s herd.

Taking second in the large herd and reserve overall was John and William McMordie, Ballygowan with the Solpoll herd. Their quality crop of calves had obviously caught the judge’s eye as Solpoll 1 Snazzy picked up best autumn born bull calf and Solpoll 1 Starlet S21 secured best spring born heifer calf.

Kenny Linton, Dunbia; John Mcmordie (reserve overall herd); John Conlon (best overall herd); judge Robert Shaw and Eddie Boyd, Dunbia.

Taking third in the large herd was David Wilson’s Lisrace herd, Magheraveely. His stock bull Knockmountagh Marshall was third in the best stock bull and Lisrace Loyalist 21st took best spring born bull calf.

Trevor Andrews, Mountview herd, picked up the best medium herd award. Trevor’s calves on the ground clearly stood out as his stock bull Dorepoll 1 Legacy took second in the stock bull award.

Following Trevor in the medium herd was Robin Irvine’s Graceland Herd at Whitecross. He also picked up best autumn born heifer calf with Graceland 1 Sally. Glenn Morton’s Nancy Herefords took third place.

In the small herds Gerry and Ethan Small’s Drumshambo herd Randalstown, led the way in first place. Closely followed by the Lisnaree herd of Marcus Murdock, Newry and coming third was the Sessiagh herd of Uel and Nathaniel Shaw. Benburb. Although smaller in numbers, the judge remarked the quality was consistent in these herds.

NIHBA would like to thank all who attended and contributed to the nominated charity Angels Wishes on the night, through the barbecue and prize draw for the Hereford sired heifer which was won by Philip Macari, Armagh and kindly donated back to the charity.

Speaking at the end of the evening, Association secretary Mark Moore expressed sincere thanks to Rboret for taking on the momentous task of judging and carrying it out so professionally.Also to Dunbia for providing the excellent Hereford steaks and burgers which were fully enjoyed by everyone.

Stephen Baxter and his family were warmly thanked for hosting the evening. No effort had been spared to ensure everyone enjoyed the evening and lot of time and effort had gone in to ensure such an excellent event. Stephen’s work in organising the charity draw was much appreciated and would produce a very substantial surplus to be presented to Angels Wishes.