All eyes were on the Hereford rings at Balmoral Show as breeders put forward a tremendous entry of stock. For the second year in a row the Breed was the largest within the cattle section as their popularity continues to reach an all time high.
Judge Melissa Roberts made swift work of her duties and selected the outstanding heifer “Solpoll 1 Stella L2” as her Supreme Champion. This daughter of Panmure 1 Henry was brought out by the father and son team of John & William McMordie, Ballygowan, Co. Down.
This greatly admired heifer was appointed Second Reserve in the coveted Champion of Champions Competition which was judged by Jim Barbour the following day. She is no stranger to success in the show ring having notched up the top title at the Northern Ireland Hereford Breeders Association (NIHBA) Calf Show last Autumn for the McMordies’.
Leading the males and standing in Reserve Supreme position was Dorepoll 1 579 Knighthawk from JE, RI & W Haire, Dundrod, Co. Antrim. This bull has great power and scale, and at just two years of age has a bright future ahead of him. He is sired by their stock bull, Dorepoll 1 499 Heritage, who was winner in the Senior Bull Class.
The biggest class of the entire cattle section was the yearling bulls which were led by the McMordies with Solpoll 1 Lawyer. Making his debut appearance in the show ring, this son of successful sire Panmure 1 Henry, scooped the Junior Championship and Reserve Grand Male title.
Lisrace Prettymaid 19th caught the eye of the judge and was awarded Reserve Female and Reserve Junior Champion for David Wilson, Magheraveely, Co. Fermanagh. Born in January 2014 this entry is sired by Lisrace Lifeliner, and was Junior Female Champion at the NIHBA calf show.
John and Karen Taggart, Carrowdore won the class for heifers born between January and June 2013 with Knockmanta 1 Rosebud. The sire this time is the popular Goulding Poll 1 Superduty ET.
It was back to the Haires’ in the Cow Class when Dorepoll 1 553 Classic Kim stood top of the line. This daughter of Dorepoll 1 93N Transatlantic ET was shown with her smart bull calf at foot.
Such is the reputation of NI Hereford breeders for turning out quality cattle that this years show attracted a large number of visitors from across the UK and Ireland. These included coaches from the South of England HBA and the South Leinster Branch of the Irish Hereford Association.
On completing her judging stint, Melissa Roberts described the entire entry of cattle as being of a very high standard indeed, with the Champion heifer one of the best that she had seen for some time.
Melissa commented, “she is just perfection, she’s neat, she’s clean, she has muscle, she’s long, she has good legs and she looks like she’s going to milk. In my opinion there is nothing more you would want in a Hereford and was a worthy winner which is very commendable given the quality of the Hereford line-up.”
Further success followed in the Native Bred Beef Recorded Performance Class when Solpoll 1 Lord Keno claimed first place.
The first prize winning Group of Three from the Solpoll Herd went on to claim third place in the Interbreed Group of Three Competition.