Shearling ewe takes top honours at Royal Ulster Show
A shearling ewe from Richard Henderson’s Ballynahone flock took the championship at the first major show of the season, Northern Ireland’s Royal Ulster Show, Balmoral.
The ewe, described by Judge John Forsythe of the Glenside flock, Maybole, Ayrshire, as simply the best sheep from the strongest class of the day, is by Mullan Playboy and out of a dam by Castlecairn Kennedy.
Supreme Champion and Reserve Interbreed Champion
She is the great-granddaughter of a ewe which stood champion at Balmoral in 2003 and from the same family as the 9500gns tup lamb Ballynahone Rambo sold to Keith Jamieson and Jim Black at last year’ Northern Ireland Premier sale. In 2010 she stood fourth at Balmoral as a lamb and first at Castlewellan. Mr Henderson was delighted with his start to the show season and is undecided whether to show the ewe elsewhere this season. She went on take Reserve Champion in the Short Wool sheep breed class following that with Overall Sheep Breed Reserve Champion.
Reserve overall and reserve female champion was the first prize ewe lamb, a Stranmuir Olaf daughter from Thomas Carson. This one is out of a dam by homebred sire Downkillybegs No Miss. Mr Carson runs 90 Texel ewes alongside flocks of Poll Dorsets, Teeswaters and a commercial flock. Like Mr Henderson he is unsure of future show plans for his winner.
Taking the title for the best of the opposite sex was the first placed aged tup, two-shear Cherryvale Popeye from Dennis and Nigel Hamill. This Forkins Ogara son was bred by Alistair Gault and bought for 1100gns at Dungannon last year. He is a grandson of Douganhill Mc Fly and is out of a dam by Castlecairn Kennedy.
Standing reserve to him was the second prize aged tup, another two shear, Fairyglen Prancer from S and J Kerr. This ET bred lamb was bought as a frozen embryo and is by Forkins North Star and out of a dam by Waen Maradonna. Homebred Prancer stood 10th out of 50 tup lambs at Balmoral in 2009 and was first prize shearling here last year too.
Judge John Forsyth said the females were the pick of the show, but he fully expected the males to continue improving as the year went on. “It’s an early show and there is a lot still to come from many of these sheep. It was a good show of sheep all the way through and the shearling ewe class was particularly strong.
1- Thomas Carson, Downkillybegs – TBC
2- Messrs Martin & Cyril Millar, Millar’s -TBC
3- Messrs Martin & Cyril Millar, and Millar’s – TBC
|1st place Ram Lamb – Messrs Millar and McComb, Millcomb – VMM1100020|
|1st place Shearling Ewe & Supreme Champion Texel – Richard Henderson, Ballynahone – HBR1000022|
|1st place Aged Ewe – Alastair Gault, Forkins – GAF080035|
|1st place Shearling Ram – James Cleland, Rose Hall – CJZ1000004|
|1st place Aged Ram – D and N Hamill, Ballynadrenta – GCN09103 – Cherryvale Popeye|
|1st place Ewe Lamb – Thomas Carson, Downkillybegs|
The Texel Young Breeders NI Club has been busy preparing for Balmoral Show since the success of their Table Quiz in March.
The winners of the Texel Young Handlers Competition at Balmoral Show 2011
Following the Texel judging at the show, the Young Breeders club held a Young Handlers class which Texel Club President Gordon Gray from South East Scotland kindly judged. Once the young handlers had answered some short questions and presented their lambs as best they could, the results were announced which were as follows.
1st James McComb
2nd Robbie Foster
3rd Robbie Coleman
4th Sam McIntyre
5th Niall Malcolmson
Following the presenting of the prizes to the top five young handlers, the Young Breeders club then held a stockjudging competition which anyone of any age was allowed to enter.
The class of shearling ewes in the Texel Young Breeders Stockjudging Competition
This competition saw the judging of four ram lambs and four shearling ewes and competitors answers were then scored against the Master Judge’s answers who was once again Texel Club President Gordon Gray. An under 18 class and an open class were both very competitive with over seventy participants taking part and the results were as follows.
Under 18 Class
1st Alice Foster
2nd Ryan Greene
3rd Robbie Foster
4th Jonathan Hammond
5th Connor McCleery
6th Sam McIntyre
1st Mr M Conway
2nd Gareth Beacom
3rd James Adams
4th Stephen McCollam
5th John Trimble
6th Christina McCollam
Texel Young Breeders NI Committee members following the stockjudging competition. From the left is Club Secretary Stephanie McCollam, Club Chairman David Chestnutt and James Wilkinson
The Texel Young Breeders Club would like to thank all those who helped and supported us throughout Balmoral Show and in particular to Gordon Gray who judged both events and to the Texel Society and the Texel NI Club for helping to supply prizes. If anyone would like any more information on the club or on events or activities that we are running, please do not hesitate to contact Club Secretary Stephanie on 07792161316.