Balmoral Show 2014

Starlet turns heads in the Hereford ring at the Royal Ulster

Report by Libby Clarke   Photos by Alfie Shaw

All eyes were on the Hereford ring at last weeks Royal Ulster Balmoral Show with breeders pulling out all the stops to ensure that quality and quantity was the order of the day. Indeed the Hereford section was the largest of any of the cattle with a tremendous 77 head entered for NI’s flagship agricultural event.

Alwyn and Adam Armour will certainly mark the 2014 event at Balmoral Park as one to remember when they scooped the Supreme Champion with their very first Hereford from their recently established herd.  “Solpoll 1 Starlet J19” (pictured above right) was shown by Adam Armour and stood top of a magnificent line up of in-calf females earlier in the day, en route to securing the Female and then the Overall titles. This outstanding two year old heifer is a daughter of former three times RUAS Champion “Solpoll 1 Dynamite”, and was selected by the Armour family in a private sale from John & William McMordie.

Judge for the event was Andrew Owen, Church Preen Herefords who travelled from Shropshire to place the super entry.

Never far from the headlines is the Haire family from Dundrod who notched up the Reserve Supreme, Grand Male & Junior Champion ribbons with their homebred yearling bull “Dorepoll 1 579 Knighthood” (pictured left). This greatly admired youngster has a pedigree packed with show accolades with his mother a former Junior Champion and grand dam a past Breed Champion. His sire is Dorepoll 1 499 Heritage who won the Senior Class at Balmoral this year. “Knighthood” was spotted by a breeder last week and will now head to England for pedigree use.

The Reserve Grand Female Champion came from the first class of the day, and was exhibited by John and Karen Taggart, Carrowdore. Their eight year old cow “Knockmountagh Olga” has enjoyed a super show career and was shown with her calf at foot. She is sired by Churchill Storm, and is out of Knockmountagh Aileen. There were 10 cows forward in this class making it the largest Senior Female Class in the entire beef section.

Andrew McMordie celebrated success with his September 2012 born Solitude 1 Kingdom (pictured below left), a son of Gouldingpoll 1 Captain winning the Reserve Grand Male Championship. This red ticket winner represented a sole entry from Andrew’s Solitude herd based at Ballygowan and sold at the show to a local pedigree breeder.

“Craigy Honey Pie 2nd” was winner of the July – December 2012 born female class for Desmond Martin, Saintfield. This home bred heifer is sired by the highly successful Parkhill Pompeii and out of a Duibhgiolla dam.

John and William McMordie were winners in a strong class of yearling heifers with “Solpoll 1 Dainty K18”. This January 2013 born entry also secured the Reserve Junior Championship and is sired by their stock bull Panmure 1 Henry. This class winner teamed with Solpoll 1 Stardust K20 won the Best Progeny Pair class before being joined by Solpoll 1 Klinsmann to win the Group of Three award, all sired by “Henry”. The following day “Klinsmann” went on to win the Native Breed Beef Performance Class.

William Waugh, Linden Foods was on hand to congratulate the winners.


Dorepoll 1 499 Heritage was winner of the Senior Bull Class


Solpoll 1 Dainty K18 was winner of the Junior Heifer Class

Solpoll 1 Klinsmann was winner of the Native Breed bull Performance Class

Hermes at Beef Expo

A Northern Ireland bred Hereford bull will take pride of place at the UK’s biggest festival of British Beef later this month. Richmount 1 Hermes from James Graham at Portadown will be displayed by the Hereford Cattle Society at the National Beef Association (NBA) Beef Expo 2014 at Hexham Mart.

Hermes is the current Northern Ireland Bull of the year and enjoyed a spectacular show season in 2013 before being sold to a leading pedigree herd in the North of England.

“This is a very high profile event and a great showcase for the Hereford breed” says James. “I’m delighted that Hermes has been selected to highlight the attributes of the modern Hereford. He demonstrates tremendous carcass traits and the natural easy fleshing so essential to profitable beef production and I have no doubt he will make a good impression on the many thousands of people who will visit the event. The Hereford exhibit will be of particular interest to beef producers given the level of enthusiasm for the breed from retailers at the moment. Sainsbury’s are the latest to select Hereford as their top quality brand, joining the Co-op, Waitrose, Morrison’s and Lidl”.

The Beef Expo brings together the cream of pedigree and commercial animals from 22 breed associations and hosts the National Spring Spectacular Show featuring 53 exhibitors and a record 140 entries. The event which takes place on the 21st and 22nd of May will also involve farm tours, demonstrations and commercial trade stands.


April Show & Sale 2014

Encouraging prices and a full clearance of Hereford bulls at Dungannon Mart.

The Champion and top price went to John and William McMordie from Ballygowan with Solpoll 1 Kingpin, a bull with a great set of EBV’s with both his Terminal and Self-replacing indexes in the top 10% for the Breed. This young bull sired by the famous Solpoll 1 Dynamite, sold for 3400gns to dairy farmer Alan Rutledge from Fintona, Co.Tyrone.
The McMordies also collected the second top price of 3100gns with Solpoll 1 Knockout at 14 months, the youngest bull in the sale. Knockout by Fisher 1 Charlie, their renowned easy calving former stock bull, sold to suckler farmer WH. McCabe of Muckamore, Co. Antrim.

The Reserve Championship went to Castlederg exhibitor Hunter Stewart with Thornbank 1 Jack. This two year old bull, also by Solpoll 1 Dynamite, has already got calves on the ground and was sold to Leslie Beggs from Beragh, Co.Tyrone.



Several of the bulls catalogued had already been sold before the Show & Sale and there were customers for more bulls.
Bulls averaged just shy of £3,000. The sale was kindly sponsored by SMP Concrete Products of Dungannon.



N.I.H.B.A Premier Sale 2014

Champion Lisrace Lancelot IV, Joint Top Price at 3300gns with David, Jack & Robbie Wilson and the sale sponsors

Above: Solpoll 1 Juggler, sold for the joint top price of 3300gns from John & William McMordie

Solpoll 1 Jubilee, Reserve Champion from John & William McMordie, with the sponsors from Dunbia & Danske Bank and judge Eric Humphreys

Sponsors and judge add their congratulations to John & Karen Taggart  with the first prize heifer Carney Hill 1 Emma 5th





The Champion Lisrace Lancelot IV, a superior carcase sire from David Wilson, Magheraveely, sold for the joint top price of the sale at 3300gns. Sired by Lisrace Lumberjack VII the reserve champion at Balmoral Show 2010 & 2011.

The second prizewinner to the champion Solpoll 1 Juggler also sold for 3300gns. Bred by John & William McMordie from Ballygowan. This young bull was sired by Solpoll 1 Dynamite, the three times Balmoral Show Champion.

The Reserve Champion also from John & William McMordie was Solpoll 1 Jubilee selling 2700gns. This superior carcase sire is a heifer’s calf by Fisher 1 Charlie who has previously sired the top priced bulls at sales in Dungannon and Hereford.

 Norman McMordie and daughter Christa from Saintfield sold their River-Dale 1 Jasper, the heaviest bull in the sale, a Solpoll I Dynamite son for 2500gns.

Mrs P. McClenaghan from Holywood selling for the first time at a NIHBA sale, realised 2500gns for Brookfield 1 Indy by Greenyards 1 Dougie, the 2013 Sire of the Year.

The first prize heifer from John & Karen Taggart from Carrowdore sold for 2000gns. Carney Hill 1 Emma 5th is by their stock bull Carney Hill I Giggs.

The youngest heifer forward also sold for 2000gns. Solpoll I Stardust J12 is by Fisher 1 Charlie and was exhibited by John & William McMordie.

The bulls averaged £2790

And 3 heifers averaged £1995

 Thanks goes to the judge Eric Humphreys from Co. Monaghan and the sponsors Dunbia & Danske Bank.

The next NIHBA sale is on the 22nd April at Dungannon Mart