The 25-cow Hiltonstown Herd based at Portglenone was the venue for the Northern Ireland Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club’s annual stockjudging competition. Hosted by chairman Richard Rodgers and family, the evening event attracted a good turnout of club members and friends from throughout the province.
The competition is staged annually to select two judging teams to represent Northern Ireland at the British Simmental Cattle Society’s national stockjudging finals. This year’s final takes place at Turriff Show in Aberdeenshire on Sunday 3rd August.
Master judge was Keith Nelson who runs the 12-cow Scribby Farms Herd at Rosslea in County Fermanagh.
Competitors had to place four classes of cattle, which included senior and junior cows, in-calf heifers and maiden heifers.
Following stiff competition from the club’s Young Members’ Association entrants, the results were announced as follows:
Under 21 years-old – 1, Alice Stubbs, Irvinestown; 2, Jonathan Henderson, Tobermore; 3, Matthew Robson, Doagh; 4, Craig Cowan, Fivemiletown.
Under 30 years-old – 1, William Ferguson, Stewarstown, and Andrew Clarke, Tynan; 3, Zara Stubbs, Irvinestown; 4, Emma O’Neill.
The winner of the open senior class was Leslie Weatherup from Ballyclare.
The two top placed YMA competitors in each category will go forward to represent Northern Ireland at the Scottish finals in August. The junior judging teams are sponsored by Bank of Ireland, and the bank’s agricultural manager William Thompson as on-hand to congratulate the winners.
Visitors to the event also had an opportunity to guess the weight of a junior Simmental bull. Organised by the Rodgers family, this competition attracted strong interest from novice and experienced cattle breeders, and raised £120 for the Loughans School in Ballymena. The winner of the competition was Jim Hamilton from Rock, Dungannon.
NI Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club vice-chairman Matthew Cunning thanked Bank of Ireland for its continued support of the young members. He also proposed a vote of thanks to the Rodgers family – Robert, Wilma, Richard and Sandra, for hosting the event and giving visitors an opportunity to view the noted Hiltonstown herd which has sold bulls to a top of 17,000gns at Stirling.
“A special word of thanks to the ladies who provided the delicious supper; and a big thank you to everyone for coming, and to our master judge Keith Nelson. Congratulations to the winning team members and good luck at the UK finals!”
- The next event in the club’s annual calendar is Fermanagh County Show on Wednesday 6th August, which will host the finals of the Ivomec Super Simmental Pair of the Year competition; and the presentation of the Danske Bank Male and Female of the Year Awards.
- The club’s annual charity BBQ will take place in Dungannon Rugby Club on Friday 8th August. This year’s chosen charity is Friends of the Cancer Centre