Belfast Telegraph

Limavady Show: Pulling power of Clydesdales draws crowds

By Richard Halleron

The Limavady Show always attracts a large turnout of Clydesdale horses - and this year was no exception.

Macfin Sweet Melody, the breed champion, was bred by Ballymoney enthusiast Fred Hanna.

The reserve Clydesdale, Downhill Daisy, was exhibited by Geoffrey Tanner.

The Clydesdale is a magnificent animal that most people associate with bygone days when all of our commercial goods were transported with the use of horse power via carts and barges.

However, the many people who turned out to enjoy Saturday's show were treated to a unique display of horsemanship which confirmed that Clydesdales have great speed and agility, as well as power.

The cattle rings saw the truly eye-catching Holstein cow, Priestland PS James Rose, crowned the event's inter-breed dairy champion. Owned and bred by the McLean family from Bushmills, she calved in February for the fourth time.

The show saw her win a fourth dairy inter-breed title of the season, having previously come top at Ballymena, Ballymoney and Omagh. She is currently giving around 50 litres of milk per day.

"We have had a great showing year with the cow," confirmed Iain McLean. "All of our stock performed extremely well at Ballymena, Ballymoney and Omagh. Thankfully, we have managed to follow this up with an equally good performance today at Limavady."

Rose will be one of the strongest contenders for this year's McLarnon Feeds/NISA Dairy Cow Championship next Saturday at the Antrim Show.

Meanwhile, it was a commercial animal that took home the beef inter-breed title. A choice British Blue cross store heifer owned by local girl Laura Conn caught the eye of the judge in both the initial breed and, subsequent, inter-breed class.

Meanwhile, show society secretary Jen Mark highlighted the excellent turnout of sheep for this year's event. "We had a record entry, with over 600 sheep catalogued," she said. "This was particularly pleasing. And we want to build on this for the future."

The inter-breed sheep championship was won by John Foster with a Charollais ewe. Also noted as a Texel breeder, the Strabane man is confirming that the principles of good sheep management are relevant whatever the breed.

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