Members of the Northern Ireland Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club are gearing up for next month’s Fermanagh County Show, which is the venue for the breed society’s national stockjudging finals.
Club chairman Nigel Glasgow said: ”The club is honoured to be hosting the Simmental Young Members’ Association’s stockjudging finals. The Northern Ireland Club sends two teams annually to compete in the finals which are usually hosted by an agricultural show on the UK mainland. For the first time in the competition’s history the final is being staged in Northern Ireland, and we are looking forward to welcoming competitors from England, Scotland and Wales.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the quality of Simmental cattle in Northern Ireland. Local breeders are putting on a larger than usual display of Simmental cattle at Fermanagh County Show on Wednesday, August 7. “
Traditionally the Enniskillen venue marks the end of the show season for Simmental breeders, with seven qualifying pairs from other agricultural shows congregating for the final of the Ivomec Super Simmental Pair of the Year competition. The long-established Danske Bank Simmental Male and Female of the Year competition also reaches a climax, with the winners collecting rosettes and crystal awards.
The schedule for Fermanagh County Show includes 11 classes for Simmental cattle, as well as championship awards. Judge for this year’s event is British Simmental Cattle Society president Iain Green, from the noted Corskie Herd based in Morayshire.
The national stockjudging competition will take place in the afternoon, following the judging of the scheduled Simmental classes and championship presentations. The stockjudging results will be announced at a dinner in Dungannon later that evening.
This year the Northern Ireland Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club is putting forward three teams in each age category. Young members representing the local club at the national finals include:
Junior (under 21yrs): Craig Cowan, Fivemiletown; Joel Nelson, Rosslea; Zara Stubbs, Irvinestown; James Carson, Cookstown; Kyle Hayes, Upper Ballinderry; and Andrew Clarke, Tynan.
Senior (21 to 30yrs): Shane McDonald, Tempo; Thomas Hamilton, Rock; William Ferguson, Stewartstown; Robert Hamilton, Rock; Chris Boyd, Portglenone; and Jonny Hazelton, Dungannon.
Young Members’ Association co-ordinator Zara Stubbs from Irvinestown is looking forward to welcoming the national competition to her homeland. "For years we have travelled across the water to compete at the national competition, and this year I am delighted that we are getting a chance to welcome fellow YMA members from the British Isles.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Bank of Ireland for coming on board to sponsor the Northern Ireland teams. This year our team members will be wearing polo shirts and hoodies which have been embroidered with the Bank of Ireland logo, and the new NI Simmental Club logo designed by Farm Wardrobe."