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Lurgan Show a resounding success

Sun smiles on annual agricultural extravaganza

By Julie Hazelton

Published 06/06/2016

Ruth McElroy with her blonde cow at the Lurgan Show
Ruth McElroy with her blonde cow at the Lurgan Show
Sisters Caoimhe, Orlagh and Eimear McGovern
Melissa Primrose with her dog
Howard McIlwaine with his Border Leicester champion sheep

Country came to town as thousands of visitors flocked to Lurgan and District Show Society's 104th agricultural show.

Among the visitors was DUP Lord Mayor Darryn Causby, who described the one-day event as a tremendous family day out.

"Lurgan is one of the biggest events in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council area's annual calendar and it is going from strength to strength," he said.

"The weather has been fantastic, and there is a great atmosphere. The organisers are to be congratulated on a tremendous effort. Lurgan Park is a phenomenal venue, and there is something for everyone, including livestock judging, live music, and a variety of trade exhibits."

One of the highlights of this year's show was the Food Heartland featuring local artisan products and culinary delights. Award-winning chef Simon Dougan from the Yellow Door in Portadown was joined by local chefs who cooked up a variety of menus throughout the day.

Visitors to Food Heartland were also inspired by celebrity TV chef and culinary writer Rachel Allen.

Show secretary Michele Doran was delighted with the success of the event. "It has been a great day. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors for their continued support, and especially our main sponsor ABP Lurgan, who have confirmed a three-year commitment."

Mss Doran confirmed an increase in entries, especially in the home industries section which saw more than 5,000 exhibits on display.

Claiming the supreme overall cattle championship was the interbreed dairy leader and Jersey champion Potterswalls Action Daisybelle exhibited by the Fleming family from Seaforde. This fourth calver is one of 120 Jersey cows in the family's herd, and is projected to produce over 9,500 litres of milk in her current lactation. She was breed and interbreed dairy champion at Balmoral Show last month.

Runner-up in the cattle section was the British Blonde champion Ivaniskey Jaquita, a two-year-old heifer bred by the McElroy family, Ivan, Ruth and William from Dromara. Sired by Clondown Eddie, she is bred from the herd's multi award-winning show cow Ivaniskey Denise - one of 12 breeding females in the herd. A first prize winner at Ballymena Show last week, she is in-calf to Dude.

Philip and Simon Haffey took the Holstein title and the reserve interbreed dairy award with their home-bred fourth calver Glasson Shottle JG Gail. This was her third successive Holstein championship at Lurgan Show. Calved four weeks, she is giving 46 litres of milk daily, and is one of 175 cows in the Portadown-based herd.

The reserve commercial beef champion Miss Guinness, from Stephen and Jack Smyth, Newtownstewart, claimed the day's reserve interbreed beef award. This cross-bred Limousin store heifer was commercial champion and reserve interbreed beef champion at Ballymena last week.

In the sheep section, the interbreed championship was awarded to an aged Charollais ewe from Diane Christie's Lornbrook flock based at Comber. Judge Malcolm Workman from Co Monaghan awarded the reserve overall title to the Suffolk champion from Philip and Timothy Lamont's Triple K flock from Kells.

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