Belfast Telegraph

Record 15,000 crowd makes it best Clogher Valley Show ever

Melissa Thompson and Julie Stinson
Melissa Thompson and Julie Stinson
Holstein young handler Lily Maxwell
Moiled champion exhibited by Michelle McAuley

By Richard Halleron

A combination of good weather and a record-breaking entry of livestock added up to the best Clogher Valley Show on record.

Estimates put the attendance at 15,000, with most made up from family groups from across counties Tyrone and Fermanagh, all geared up to enjoy a tremendous day out.

In the cattle rings, the Matchett family from Portadown held court, winning the champions-of-champions class with their elite Charolais heifer Summervilla Niki.

Earlier, they won the Clogher Valley Beef Inter-Breed Championship, the Northern Ireland Shows Association Championship, the Charolais National Championship and the Clogher Valley Charolais Championship with the same animal.

Judge Ger Ryan, from Co Cork, described the champion an almost perfect example of the Charolais breed.

He added: "The heifer caught my eye as soon as she came into the ring. The animal has tremendous style, can walk well and has an amazing presence.

"The quality of beef cattle at this year's show was exceptional across the board. But the Charolais heifer stood out as a true champion."

Niki was bred by Co Roscommon breeder Ciaran O Donnell.

"She is confirmed in calf to Allenford Vagabond," Gail Matchett said.

"He is quite an old bull now but is an extremely easy calving sire. We currently have six pedigree Charolais females in the herd. We plan to grow this number for the future."

Meanwhile in the dairy rings, the McLean family from Bushmills were enjoying their own very successful day.

They took home the dairy inter-breed championship with their truly eye-catching Holstein cow Priestand Shot J.Rose. She calved for the fourth time in May and is currently giving 75L of milk per day.

The family also won the dairy inter-breed reserve title in tandem with the Holstein and coloured breeds' championships.

"We have had a great showing year up to this point," said Iain McLean.

"Our stock performed well at Ballymena, Ballymoney and Omagh. We have managed to follow this up with an equally good performance at Clogher Valley."

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