Belfast Telegraph

Double joy for family at busy Ballymena Show

By Richard Halleron

The Ballymena Show ended on a triumphant note for the McAllister family from Kells in Co Antrim as they scooped the sheep inter-breed and reserve championship titles.

William McAllister secured the top accolade with a three-year-old Charollais ewe, while his sister Elizabeth took the reserve spot with an equally eye-catching Beltex female.

Both had won their respective breed championships earlier in the day.

Just a few short weeks ago the Charollais had won its breed title at the Balmoral Show.

"The ewe is in great condition at the present time," said William.

"Our plan is to take her out at a number of the shows planned for the coming weeks.

Inter-breed judge David Baillie described his champion as an excellent example of the Charollais breed.

"She has great character and should go on to produce champions of the future," he said.

Heavy showers dampened the grass at Ballymena Showgrounds throughout the day.

But the weather did nothing to deter the large crowds that turned out for this year's event.

There was a tremendous turnout of cattle for the show.

The overall championship was won by Simmental breeder Nigel Glasgow with his 15-month old heifer Cloone Hilda.

She was purchased at a breed sale in Co Roscommon last autumn.

In the final cattle class of the day it was, essentially, a straight shootout between the Simmental - which had previously won the beef inter-breed championship - and the dairy inter-breed champion, owned and exhibited by the McLean family from Bushmills.

After a lengthy deliberation the judges decided in favour of the Simmental.

"She has amazing breed character," said judge Robert McNee.

"All being well, she will go on to be a very successful breeding cow."

The dairy inter-breed championship was won by Priestland 5446 Shot J Rose.

Home bred, the Holstein calved for the third time on the McLean farm last November.

Belfast Telegraph

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