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Thousands bask in sunshine on another great day for Omagh Show

Thomas McAllister from Dungannon with the Simmental and interbreed champion
Thomas McAllister from Dungannon with the Simmental and interbreed champion
Valais Blacknose exhibitor Richard Beattie from Omagh
Champion young handler Eve Woods from Islandmagee

By Richard Halleron

A combination of tremendous weather and bumper crowds made the Omagh Show 2019 a day to remember.

The event saw a record entry of sheep, with the supreme interbreed championship awarded to Co Antrim's Elizabeth McAllister with her magnificent beltex ewe.

Adding to the significance of her victory was the fact that Omagh hosted this year's Beltex National Show.

Judge Charlie Boden described the champion as an almost perfect example of the breed.

"She has tremendous shape, muscling and mobility. The fact that she has lambed successfully adds to her attraction," he said.

"Just over 1,000 sheep took part in the various competition classes. It was a tremendous turnout of stock all of which bodes well for the future of the sheep sector in Northern Ireland."

Omagh Show Society chairman Tommy Harkin described this year's event as one of the best on record.

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"Livestock numbers were excellent across all the various classes," he said.

"Sheep entries continue to improve with each year that passes and we had a tremendous turnout of both beef and dairy cattle. We can't ask for anything more than this."

Meanwhile, in the cattle rings the final class of the day saw the dairy champion, which is an elite Holstein 4th calver owned and bred by Bushmills breeder Iain McLean, fight it out with the beef inter-breed champion for the supreme championship of the show accolade.

Its opponent was a tremendous simmental bull owned and bred by the Hazelton family from Dungannon.

After a lot of deliberation judge Victor Chestnutt gave the nod to the simmental.

He described the animal as majestic, with tremendous breeding potential.

Jonny Hazelton confirmed that his champion was sired by the renowned simmental bull Raceview King.

"Our plan is to bring the bull to Stirling in October and see what price he makes in the show ring," he added.

But coming runner-up in the supreme championship class takes nothing away from Mr McLean's dairy champion Priestland Shot J Rose.

She is a truly majestic dairy cow, currently giving 77 litres of milk per day.

"She calved for the fourth time in May," he said.

"We have had a great start to the showing year.

"All of our stock performed extremely well at Ballymena and Ballymoney.

"Thankfully, we have managed to follow this up with an equally good performance today at Omagh."

Mr McLean added: "It will be very interesting to see how Priestland Shot J Rose performs in the Northern Ireland Shows' Association Dairy Cow of the Year final which is coming up at the end of this month."

Belfast Telegraph