Belfast Telegraph

Winners a breed apart at Ballymena Show

Agricultural extravaganza a hit with farmers and public

By Richard Halloran

It was a day to remember for Ayrshire breeders John and Michael Hunter at the Ballymena Show.

The father and son team, who hail from Crumlin, won the inter breed dairy championship with the 4th calver Ardmore Janet.

For good measure, the animal went on to secure the cattle supreme championship, beating the beef inter breed champion exhibited by the Williamson family from Benburb in Co Tyrone.

The supreme championship was judged jointly by Gilmour Lawrie and Bob Adams, both from Scotland. Earlier in the day they had judged the dairy and beef inter breed championships respectively.

"The Ayrshire is a perfect example of her breed," said Adams. "She has a great udder and the fact that she has already given birth to four calves points to her tremendous longevity. I do not have a dairying background at all. But the winning cow stood out above all the other cattle shown at Ballymena this year."

The sheep inter breed championship at Ballymena went to Lanark Blackface breeder Sam Wallace. His three shear ewe caught the eye of judge Walter Wyllie from Pitlochry in Scotland. He described the ewe as an almost perfect example of the breed.

Meanwhile, Brexit was the main topic of discussion among the large numbers of farmers attending this year's show.

Robert Paisley judged the beef shorthorn classes. Along with his wife Penny, he runs a cattle and sheep farm near Ilkley in West Yorkshire.

"I voted to come out of Europe," said Robert. "I have no problem with the free movement of people coming in and out of the UK. But I just thought that the EU had become far too bureaucratic."

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