Belfast Telegraph

No horsing around as Clydesdales take centre stage at Limavady

By Richard Halleron

Limavady Show is a truly special event within Northern Ireland 's agricultural show calendar as it provides Clydesdale horse breeders with their flagship mid-summer celebration.

No other regional venue caters for these magnificent animals so well, and as had been widely expected, large numbers of Clydesdales breeders turned out on Saturday – all vying for top honours.

But it's not just the horses themselves that make the Clydesdale such a crowd pleaser – it's the accompanying carts and other items of equipment that immediately bring the on watching public back to a different time and place.

Not that long ago the majestic Clydesdale was the real powerhouse of local farming.

This year's breed championship was won by the Hanna family from Ballymoney with their more than impressive two-year-old filly Macfin Diamond Queen.

"We are very pleased with her," Griffin Hanna told the Belfast Telegraph.

"She is home-bred and has already won at Balmoral and the Royal Highland Show this year.

It's a great honour to have bred a Clydesdale that's good enough to take on the Scots in their own back years. All being well we will breed from her next year."

Griffin went on to confirm the tremendous international demand that exists for well-bred Clydesdale horses at the present time.

"We currently have a young stallion standing at stud in Australia. The business opportunities are there, but it's all about having the right type of animal to meet this demand."

Meanwhile, in the dairy cattle show rings at the north west show the Cyril and Martin Millar family from Coleraine were having a day that will stay in the memory for a long time.

Their second calver Picston Spitfire Baby Five won the Holstein Championship.

The Inter Breed sheep title at Limavady was won by Ballymena flockowner Patrick Donnelly with a truly eyecatching Suffolk ewe.

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