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Sunshine brings record turnout at Ballymoney

Sheep judge Kerry Angus
Sheep judge Kerry Angus
Michelle Wright at Ballymoney Show
Jane Morrison with bovine friend

By Richard Halleron

Bumper crowds enjoyed the glorious sunshine over the two days of this year's Ballymoney Show.

"The weather means everything to an event of this kind," said Martyn Blair, chairman of the North Antrim Agricultural Association.

"It's very likely that we have attracted a record turnout of people to this year's show."

The event culminated on Saturday with the selection of Priestland 5446 Shot J Rose as the cattle inter-breed champion.

The four-year-old cow is owned by the McClean family from Bushmills. Home bred, she calved for the third time last November. Rose was also the Holstein reserve champion at this year's Balmoral Show.

Judge Mark Logan, farm manager at Clandeboye Estate in Co Down, described the animal as a truly excellent example of the Holstein breed.

"She has tremendous dairy presence. Her udder really stands out. I knew she was my champion almost as soon as she walked into the ring," he said.

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There was an excellent turnout of livestock across the board at Ballymoney this year.

The beef inter-breed champion was exhibited by Duncan McDowell, from Newtownards, Co Down.

His 19-month-old beef shorthorn heifer Castlemount Matrix Zipy is a half-sister to the 2017 junior champion at the 2017 Stirling Bull Sales in Scotland. That animal subsequently sold in the ring at 13,000 guineas.

Alastair Gault from Ballyclare was the most successful sheep breeder at Ballymoney 2018.

He won the Texel championship with a truly eye-catching ewe lamb.

Belfast Telegraph