Diamond delight as Blue cross heifer steals show in Ballymena
For the first time ever a commercial animal – the aptly named She's a Diamond – led the Parade of Champions at this year's Ballymena Show.
Bathed in warm sunshine throughout the two days, the event attracted a significantly increased turnout of livestock.
But it was a 14-month-old Belgian Blue cross heifer, owned by Mr Robert Miller from Moneymore that outshone the competition. She's a Diamond was described by Beef Inter-Breed judge James Playfair-Hannay as the perfect beef animal.
"She has tremendous length and meat in all the right places," Mr Playfair-Hannay said.
"I couldn't fault her. I am a pedigree Angus and Beef Shorthorn breeder and am totally committed to promoting our native breeds of cattle."
She was up against some serious competition when it came to judging the Supreme Cattle Champion of the Show. Lining up against her in the final class of the day, was the Inter Breed Dairy Champion, owned and bred by Iain McLean, from Bushmills.
Born in January 2010, Priestland 4951 Shot Bedazzle calved for the second time back in February of this year. A daughter of the renowned dairy sire Picston Shottle, she looked stunning.
As it turned out, Ballymena Show 2014 will live long in the memory of the entire McLean family as they managed to win the Holstein, Ayrshire and Coloured Breeds' championships at the event.