Belfast Telegraph

Thousands flock to the 105th Lurgan Show

By Julie Hazleton

Thousands descended on Lurgan's idyllic park for the town's 105th agricultural show on Saturday.

The one-day event attracted exhibitors and spectators from throughout the country. Long-standing secretary Michele Doran was delighted with the success of the show, and thanked everyone for their support.

"It has been a great show and thankfully the weather held up well," she said.

"I am delighted to report that the show is going from strength to strength and that entries and visitor numbers are steadily increasing.

"Thank you to our many sponsors, especially the show's principal sponsor, the ABP Food Group, for its generous financial backing.

"We've had a host of activities for all age groups, including amusements, live music, trade exhibits, rural craft displays, vintage vehicles, and a food marquee with regular cookery demonstrations."

Mrs Doran added: "The home industries section attracted over 4,000 entries and the livestock arena was packed with an array of native and continental cattle and sheep breeds. The equestrian section was also well supported.

"We are also delighted that the poultry section could operate as normal, following the recent announcement by DAERA that the avian influenza prevention zone rules were being relaxed."

Leading the cattle parade for the second year in succession was the Jersey champion and interbreed dairy winner Potterswalls Action Daisybelle EX96, bred and exhibited by Ashley Fleming and family from Seaforde. Producing 40 litres of milk on a daily basis, this home-bred cow is projected to yield 10,000 litres in her fifth lactation.

The task of selecting the show's cattle champion of champions was entrusted to pedigree Holstein and Charolais breeder Cyril Millar from Coleraine. He described the champion as perfection on four legs. "This is a tremendous dairy cow with quality and finesse from head to toe," he said.

Runner-up for the supreme overall award was the commercial beef champion, a cross-bred Limousin heifer called Valentine shown by Keith Williamson from Benburb.

Taking the second reserve interbreed honours was the Charolais heifer Tawny Jasmine, accompanied by her January-born bull calf, owned by Nigel and Gail Matchett and family from Portadown.

Antrim flock owner Alison Graham savoured success in the interbreed sheep line-up, claiming the top accolade with her Rouge de l'Ouest shearling ewe.

Runner-up was a Blue Texel shearling ewe from Adrian and Clive Richardson's flock in Maguiresbridge.

Also attending the show hosted by Lurgan and District Horse and Cattle Show Society were Ulster Farmers Union chief Wesley Aston; Young Farmers' president James Speers; Northern Ireland Shows Association chairman Clarence Calderwood, and Royal Ulster Agricultural Society president Cyril Millar.

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