Stephanie Dick Overall Champion Young Handler
Reserve Champion Ruth Hamill
The 11th January saw a group of enthusiastic Young Limousin Breeders take centre-stage at Ballymena Mart to take part in the Young Handlers section of their Annual Calf Spectacular.
The competitors were split into three age groups: 12 and under; 13-18 and 19+ under the watchful eye of judge Kirree Kermode from the Orrisdale Limousin prefix, Isle of Man, in both the preparation of their animal for the show ring and then their ring-craft.
Each competitor had 15 minutes to prepare and dress their animal for the ring. Kirree was also looking for someone who knew exactly what they were doing and had knowledge of all the grooming products they were using, such as limo shine and a Perth comb.
Once the handler had finished grooming their calf, they were then asked to make their way to the ring where they would show their calf as if it was a real class.
Kirree awarded each handler points for how they presented themselves, alertness to the judge’s commands, and the overall knowledge of their calf, commenting: “The enthusiasm and confidence demonstrated to parade, stand and answer the questions regarding the animals details and genetics were done with great ease and the competitors are a real credit to their parents, trainers and the NIYLB.”
After much deliberation Stephanie Dick, Westerton of Cowie, Stirling came out on top after travelling over from Scotland to compete where she runs her own herd with the prefix Stephick. One of the bulls that Stephanie has bred and sold has been Stephick Flashy, who was sold in Stirling and purchased by Will & Gareth Corrie, Newtonards and exported to Northern Ireland for their commercial herd. Flashy then went on to be one of the stock bulls for the Jalex Herd owned by James Alexander.
Following closely behind and taking Reserve Overall and winning the Intermediate section was Ruth Hamill from the Cloverdale Herd, run by her Dad David. With this being the third year taking part in the Young Handlers competitions, Ruth is still fresh from her recent success in Carlisle in December 2013 where she won the Overall Champion Young Handler title.
Taking the Second Reserve Champion spot was young Andrew Hamill at only 10 years of age. Andrew has recently established his own herd with the Huntley prefix and has a very keen interest in farming with cattle and sheep in particular.
1st: Andrew Hamill
2nd: James Scott
1st: Ruth Hamill
2nd: James McComb
3rd: Richard Fleming
4th: Katrina Killen
1st: Stephanie Dick
2nd: Rebecca Adams
3rd: Dale Robinson
4th: David Geary
Finally, the NI Young Breeders would like to say a very big thank-you to the sponsors of the Young Handlers Cogent, AI Services and Dovea Genetics as the event would not have been possible without their generosity and support.