Armagh show: Seaforde breeder takes plaudits as his sheep is star

Saturday’s Armagh show drew the crowds and an impressive array of prizewinning stock from across Northern Ireland.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 13th June 2022, 10:32 am

A truly impressive Suffolk shearling ewe, exhibited by Seaforde breeder Mark Priestly, took all the accolades.

The animal won its breed title and then went on to scoop the interbreed championship at an event that attracted a tremendous turnout of sheep.

Interbreed judge, Elizabeth McAllister, confirmed that her champion has true Suffolk character, amazing stature and all-round presence.

The Sheep Interbreed champion at Armagh Show 2022 with (from left) Mark Morrison, Fane Valley, Elizabeth McAllister, sheep interbreed judge, Mark Priestly, who exhibited the Suffolk shearling ewe, and Joe Maginness, from Seaforde

She added: “The standard of sheep taking part in this year’s show was tremendous, right across the board. I would like to congratulate all of the breeders taking part.”

The young Suffolk shearling stood out from the other sheep that lined up for the interbreed class at Armagh. By all accounts, it can look forward to a very exciting future as a breeding animal.

Meanwhile, in the cattle rings, both the Simmental and Hereford breeds enjoyed a great day out, as Armagh hosted their respective national championships.

However, all other breeds were well represented on the day, as was confirmed courtesy of the packed show ring that characterised the final parade of stock at the show.

Co Fermanagh Simmental breeder Pat Kelly won both his respective breed and, subsequently, Armagh’s beef interbreed championships with the September 2020 heifer Ashland Topaz Lopez.

Home bred, she was sired by the 14,000gns Saltire Impressive. The heifer is out of the Ashland Brandy daughter, Ashland Topaz 2nd.

Last month Lopez was selected as the Balmoral reserve interbreed beef champion.

“We are very happy with the progress made by the heifer to date,” Mr Kelly confirmed. “Our plan is to get her in-calf over the coming months.”

The reserve beef interbreed award at Armagh was secured by Randalstown breeder James Alexander with an eye catching Jalex Limousin heifer.

There was strong competition in the dairy rings throughout the day. Both the Holstein and Interbreed championships were won by Stewartstown breeder Jason Booth with an excellent second calving cow: Sterndale Fitzlambda Airy.

Dairy judge, Philip Jones from Co Wexford, described his champion as a young cow with tremendous potential.

He said: “The turnout of milking and young stock was excellent. Northern Ireland is home to a tremendous selection of elite black and white blood lines at the present time.”