Club Report 2008
The 2008 story of the N I Limousin Cattle Club – and Limousins generally in Northern Ireland – is one of progress and success. Not only has N I kept pace with the rest of the UK as far as the numerical standing of the Breed is concerned but the number of Breeders has risen until, at present, the Province rates as the second largest Region of the Society. The N I Club Members – virtually all of whom are Society Members – have had a full and active year devoted almost entirely to the Promotion of the Limousin Breed through Shows, Exhibitions and Sales of Limousin stock, embryos and semen into the Beef and Dairying Sectors and the effort put into this has not been confined to N I but has reached into Europe and as far afield as Australia.
But this Report is intended to highlight how Limousins were presented locally and gives some idea of how they were always visually present in “the beef scene” and to demonstrate the massive impact that the Breed has made in the Beef Sector here.
The year commenced with a Club Female Haltered and unhaltered Sale in Ballymena on 19th January where 61 females were presented and sales resulted in an almost total clearance of lots presented. The highest price of the day went to Mr Seamus Rainey whose June 06 Maiden Heifer by Mereside Topman sold to Club Member Jim Quail at 2,750gn.
Then came the 28th February BLCS Sale which, like all Society Sales in N I, is staffed and managed by the N I club. Trade was excellent with an 100% clearance and a top price of 6,400 realised for a 7-month-old heifer, Lenagh Classy out of Kype Veronica chosen by Judge Harry Emslie as reserve overall Champion, while no less than seven bulls sold in the £3000-£4000 range.
The Perth and Carlisle sales then took place and, with an increased number of N I cattle making the journey “across the water”, the interest in these events is heightened and results and prices keenly examined. In February Club Member Francis McAuley was honoured by being selected to judge the Carlisle Show and there were local sales of note, as David Green sold Derriaghy Bobsyouruncle at 10,500gns and Henry McCracken a Seaview bull at 8,000gns.
In March the Members thoughts turned to the important job of tutoring the Young Breeders in all aspects of animal assessment – conformation – weight – mobility -and this was done through a number of Stockjudging and assessment events at Greenmount College and at two Breeders Herds, The Rahoney Herd of H & D McFarland and Ian Davidson’s Ballyrickard herd. An extremely useful series of events from which the N I Stockjudging Teams for the Royal Show are selected.
Balmoral Show – the first of the Royals – takes place in May and Limousins were there in all their pride and glory. With far and away the largest number of entries of any breed and with a standard of quality that impressed not only Limousin Judge, William Cowx, but also the Inter-breed Judges who saw the Breed as superior to all others. In February, Tom and Alan Clyde had gone to the Carlisle Sale and bought the bull, Ironstone Bomber, a deal which was to have a marked effect on the local Show scene during the year. He was shown at Balmoral and won the Limousin Show Championship as well as being selected as Individual Interbreed Champion, while the Limousin Team also won the Group and Pairs Inter-breeds. The first of the Qualifiers for the Annual All-Irish Bull and Heifer Derbies were also selected here.
The May Carlisle Sale continued to provide local interest as John McGrane from Keady sold his bull Carrefour Ben at 20,000gns, Laurence McEldowney’s selling at 12000gns. and H & D McFarland’s Rahoney Bartimaeus realising 7,000gns., while N I Bulls secured no less than 5 first place tickets.
The local Bull and Female Sale in May was a new venture but was successful with an 83% clearance of lots and with a Pedigree Centre record achieved by Club member John Adams when he realised 7,000gns for Fedneyhouse Crystal by Ulm, also selling Fedneyhouse Coleen at 4300gn.
Following Balmoral there are twelve local Shows and Limousins paraded at all of these and eight further Derby qualifiers were chosen for the All-Ireland events planned to be held in 2008 at the Virginia Show in Cavan, Republic of Ireland. It was at these shows that Ironstone Bomber came into his own, collecting no less then 7 Championships and, by doing so, won the coveted Gordon Bull Trophy. There is an added interest at these events as the “Show Team of the Year” Trophy, for which points can be gained for class placings at each Show, is competed for, with a remarkable 37 breeders gaining points this year. The Top Show Team Award went to Crawford Bros with A & T Clyde and Stephen Clyde filling the second and third spots.
Local Breeders were prominent at The Highland Show Joe Rafferty, Crawford Bros and D B Mairs all attained First Class Prizes Then at the Royal Show Crawford Bros. with their 3-year-old cow Victorieus, won the Breed and Interbreed Championship and also won, for the first time ever by a team owned by a single Breeder, the Burke Trophy.
In July members of the Club joined with the Irish Limousin Society on a trip to the Welsh Show and to some Welsh Breeders farms including the Sarkley, Bailea and Mynach herds-and thanks are due to each for the tremendous hospitality provided- while August saw the fulfilment of a “dream” when, after some ten years hampered by Animal Health restrictions, it was possible to stage the All-Ireland Bull and heifer Derbies in the Republic of Ireland – in Virginia, Co Cavan. This proved to be a very special and unique event hosted by The Irish Limousin Society and Virginia Show Society and thanks are due to both for their enthusiasm in staging the first ever All-Ireland Limousin Derby Final. This resulted in the Northern Ireland Breeders taking the first four placings in the Bull Final, Second place in the Heifer Final and winning the Shield for the most points gained.
September then brought on an event which proved to be one of the highlights of the year as far as the promotion of the breed as the ultimate in commercial Suckler herd beef production is concerned, when some 600 people attended a well organised and staged Open day at the farm of David Kenwell in Co Tyrone. This month also saw the Young Breeders Calf Spectacular yet again promoted to the usual high standards with, in 2008, the added attraction of the Anglo-Irish Stockjudging Event, won this time by the Hosts, The Northern Irish Team.
Following on from these was the Club’s Pedigree Herd Competition where 32 Herds were judged by no lesser person than David Thomlinson of H&H fame. In September, too, the Club instituted another new and very successful venture – a Limousin Commercial herds competition. The 21 herds entered in this were judged by our own Jim Quail who was impressed by the strength and quality of the Limousin based suckled stock on view. In October the Club held a general meeting at which the Commercial Competition results were announced and prizes distributed and at the same time featured a “slide show” which included many of the herds judged
The Carlisle and Perth Sales were next and there was further proof – if this is needed- of the strength and quality of N I Stock when the Loughran family of Cookstown achieved a Breed and Centre record price of 30,000gns at Perth with the bull Millgate Clinker, John Adams sold Fedneyhouse Callum at 8,000gns., G N Martin’s two Ashmara bulls realised 7.000 and 4,800 respectively while James McKay’s Balmoral Junior Champion was presented at Carlisle and sold for 13,000gns., Peter Murphy’s Carrickaldreen Cracker made 10,000gns. and Derek Hume’s Culnagechan Carlsberg, 7,200gns. November saw the last BLCS Northern Ireland sale of the year and D G Green & Sons Derriaghy Crackerjack selling at the highest price of 5,200gns.
The Club’s Dinner Dance and presentation of awards brought to a close a year which can be looked back on with the satisfaction that local Breeders, well serviced by an active Executive Committee, are maintaining the breed at standards equal to or in some cases, better than, any other region in the UK or in Ireland and they can take pride from their successes as the year 2008 ends.
2008 HERD COMPETITION RESULTS
1st JIM SCOTT ARDIGON
2nd JOAN GILLILAND BALLYROBIN
3rd JAMES & ALISION CALLION MELBREAK
1st CRAWFORD BROS RATHKEELAND
2nd RICHARD HENDERSON BALLYNAHONE
3rd H & D McFARLANE RAHONEY
1st JAMES McKAY AMPERTAINE
2nd FRANCIS McAULEY CARMORN
3rd JOHN ADAMS FEDNEYHOUSE
BEST GROUP OF CALVES IN YEAR OF COMPETITION
1st JAMES McKAY AMPERTAINE
2nd DEREK HUME CULNAGECHAN
3rd H & D McFARLANE RAHONEY
BEST GROUP OF CALVES BORN IN YEAR OF COMPETITION BY STOCK BULL
1st DEREK HUME GLENROCK VAGRANT
2nd JOHN ADAMS ULM
3rd McKINNEY BROS BAILEA ANDRE
BEST STOCK BULL
1st JOHN ADAMS ULM
2nd McKINNEY BROS BAILEA ANDRE
3rd RODGERS FAMILY SOLDAT
BEST COW FAMILY
1st RICHARD HENDERSON ASHMORE ONDINE
2nd FRNACIS McAULEY CARMORN ROSIE
3rd JAMES McKAY SKYE
BEST YOUNG BULL BORN IN 2007
1st FRANCIS McAULEY CARMORN CANTONA
2nd HENRY SAVAGE TRUEMAN CHOPIN
3rd JOHN ADAMS FEDNEYHOUSE CALLUM
NI Limousin suckler herd competition results:
Winners in small herds (less than 30 cows)
1st Victor Patterson, Ballygawley, Co Tyrone
2nd Patrick Trainor, Attical Kilkeel Co Down
Winners in medium herds (31 to 69 cows)
1st Michael McPolin, Hilltown Co Down
2nd Kenneth McKinstry, Magherafelt Co Derry/Londonderry
Winners in large herds (over 70 cows)
1st Will Corrie, Newtownards Co Down
2nd Owen Crawford, Kircubbin Co Down
James Alexander, Randalstown Co Antrim
Dorothy Birch, Portaferry Co Down
Owen Crawford, Kircubbin Co Down
Gareth Corrie, Newtownards Co Down