‘A superb heifer and the type of animal that every pedigree herd owner aspires to breed’, is how Scottish judge and BSCS President Stewart Stronach described Ashland Topaz Lopez, the Supreme Overall Champion at the NI National Simmental Show held within the Armagh County Show on Saturday 11th June.
Born in September 2020 Ashland Topaz Lopez was bred by Pat Kelly, and son Frank, from Tempo, County Fermanagh. She is a daughter of the 14,000gns Saltire Impressive, and is bred from the Ashland Brandy daughter, Ashland Topaz 2nd, one of ten cows in the herd.
Stewart Stronach added: “The Female and Supreme Champion is an exceptional heifer. She is very correct, square and long, and has great breed character and ring presence. This is a once in a lifetime heifer!”
Ashland Topaz Lopez was Senior Champion at the inaugural Four-Breeds Calf Show at Dungannon last November. Her latest success comes hot on the heels of winning the Simmental Championship, Beef Performance Heifer Interbreed Championship, and the Reserve Interbreed honours at Balmoral Show in May.
Stewart Stronach, who runs the 160-cow Islavale Herd alongside a 40-cow commercial enterprise, said it was a great honour to judge the NI National Show.
“It has been an amazing show, with quality entries in all classes. I have really enjoyed judging, and I’d like to thank the exhibitors for putting on such a great show. One of the highlights for me was the pairs class. Seven top-quality pairs filled the ring, and it was a tremendous spectacle. The Simmental breed is definitely in good hands in Northern Ireland!”
The one-day event, held in conjunction with the 175th Armagh County Show attracted a good turnout of exhibitors and spectators from across the Province and further afield.
The Kelly family’s Ashland prefix was also behind the breeding of the Junior Champion, Reserve Female and Reserve Supreme Champion Ashland Topaz Mair. Born in January 2021, this heifer was purchased privately last autumn by brothers Shane and Paul McDonald for their Tempo-based Coolcran Herd.
Again sired by Saltire Impressive, this one is bred from the Whitemire King Kong daughter Ashland Topaz 3rd – maternal sister to the dam of the Supreme Champion. She was Junior Champion at Balmoral Show, and went on to secure the Reserve Junior Interbreed honours.
Stewart Stronach commented: “This is another very correct and stylish heifer. Similar to the Champion, there isn’t much between them.”
Shane and Paul McDonald had a memorable day at the NI National Show, also chalking up the Male Championship and Reserve Junior award with the home-bred bull Coolcran Maximus.
Coolcran Maximus, male Champion and Reserve Junior Champion
This September 2021 bull is by Wolfstar Elusive, and is bred from the Ashland Brandy daughter Coolcran Lady Erin – Reserve Female Champion at Balmoral Show in 2015.
“The is a super young bull with a lot of potential for the future. He boasts great shape and length, and is square over the plates,” added the judge.
Claiming the Reserve Male Championship was Ballinalare Farm Mack, a yearling entry bred by Joe and Alan Wilson, Rathfriland. He is by the 8,200 Euro stock bull Rabawn Ernie, and is out of a home-bred dam by the 20,000gns Stirling junior and supreme champion Auchorachan Wizard. This young bull also secured the reserve male title at Balmoral Show.
“Another wide and correct young bull. There is very little between the male champions,” concluded Stewart Stronach.
The young handlers’ classes were judged by Fiona Sutherland. The top placed junior handler was Jamie Dodd from the Craigy Herd based at Saintfield. The senior handling class was won by Thomas Mcaliser from the Ranfurly Herd in Dungannon.
Junior Handler class winner, Jamie Dodd with Judge Fiona Sutherland and Trevor Nesbitt, Fane Valley Stores; Picture: Mullagh Photography
NI Simmental Club Chairman Keith Nelson thanked everyone who contributed to the success of the show. “Special mention to our judges, Armagh County Show, principal sponsor Danske Bank, and the numerous agri businesses and local companies who sponsored the various classes at the show.”
Results from the judging ring…
Supreme Overall Champion: Pat and Frank Kelly, Ashland Topaz Lopez. Reserve: Shane and Paul McDonald: Ashland Topaz Mair.
Female Champion: Pat and Frank Kelly, Ashland Topaz Lopez. Reserve: Shane and Paul McDonald: Ashland Topaz Mair.
Male Champion: Shane and Paul McDonald, Coolcran Maximus. Reserve: Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Mack.
Junior Champion: Shane and Paul McDonald, Ashland Topaz Mair. Reserve: Shane and Paul McDonald, Coolcran Maximus.
DANI Rosebowl, for the best performance recorded bull: Shane and Paul McDonald, Coolcran Maximus.
Premier Exhibitor, sponsored by Moocall: Shane and Paul McDonald.
Cow, any age, sponsored by Biocell Agri Ltd – 1, Gavin Hayes and Sons, Corbally Goddess by Hillcrest Champion.
Senior heifer, born between 01/01/20 and 30/06/20, sponsored by Thompsons – 1, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Ladybird by Denizes Fantastic; 2, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Lizabel by Denizes Fantastic.
Intermediate heifer, born between 01/07/20 and 31/12/20, sponsored by ABP Food Group – 1, Pat and Frank Kelly, Ashland Topaz Lopez by Saltire Impressive; 2, David and Jonny Hazelton, Ranfurly Stella 12th by Whitemire King Kong; 3, Leslie and Christopher Weatherup, Lisglass Lollipop by Dermotstown Delboy; 4th Robin Boyd, Slievenagh Lucky Lady by Denizes Hamish.
Junior heifer, born between 01/01/21 and 30/03/21, sponsored by Noel Kilpatrick Financial Services – 1, Shane and Paul McDonald, Ashland Topaz Mair by Saltire Impressive; 2, Leslie and Christopher Weatherup, Lisglass Marigold by Omorga Jaguar; 3, Brian O’Hare, Clonguish Nova by Raceview King; 4, Keith Nelson, Scribby Farms Matilda by Dermotstown Delboy.
Junior heifer, born between 01/05/21 and 31/08/21, sponsored by Yara Fertilisers – 1, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Medusa by Ballinalare Farm Galaxy; 2, Keith Nelson, Scribby Farms Molly by Atlow Dixon; 3, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Majesty 2nd by Kilbride Farm Bantry; 4, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Moneypenny 2nd by Denizes Fantastic.
Junior heifer, born between 01/09/21 and 31/12/21, sponsored by T-Met – 1, David and Jonny Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st by Auchorachan Hercules; 2, Shane and Paul McDonald, Coolcran Mystic Royal Beauty by Islavale Echo 2; 3, Mrs E O’Neill, Drumcoote Sasha by Curaheen Drifter.
Junior bull, born between 01/01/21 and 30/04/21, sponsored by Animax – 1, Mrs MH Kilpatrick, Ballymoney Martin by Saltire Impressive; 2, William Dodd, Craigy Max by Longbeach Darius.
Junior bull, born between 01/05/21 and 31/08/21, sponsored by George Hamilton Machinery – 1, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Mack by Rabawn Ernie; 2, Richard and Rhys Rodgers, Hiltonstown Magnificent; 3, Mrs MH Kilpatrick, Ballymoney Mick by Saltire Impressive; 4, Mrs MH Kilpatrick, Ballymoney Mark by Saltire Impressive.
Junior bull, born between 01/09/21 and 31/12/21, sponsored by Irwins Feed – 1, Shane and Paul McDonald, Coolcran Maximus by Wolfstar Elusive; 2, Nigel Glasgow, Bridgewater Farm Major by Saltire Impressive; 3, Robin Boyd, Slievenagh Mr Magic by Denizes Hamish; 4, Nigel Glasgow, Bridgewater Farm Maximus by Saltire Impressive.
Bull calf, born in 2022, sponsored by British Simmental Cattle Society – 1, Mark Cutler, Gortdonaghy Norman by Anatrim Bodybuilder; 2, Richard and Rhys Rodgers, Hiltonstown Nevada by Mullyknock Gallant.
Pair, property of exhibitor, sponsored by Countyside Services – 1, Shane and Paul McDonald, Ashland Topaz Mair and Coolcran Maximus; 2, Richard and Rhys Rodgers, Hiltonstown Magnificent and Hiltonstown McGregor; 3, Joe and Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Majesty 2nd and Ballinalare Farm Medusa; 4, Keith Nelson, Scribby Farms Matilda and Scribby Farms Molly.
Young handler, aged 8 to 12 years-old, sponsored by Fane Valley Stores – 1, Jamie Dodd; 2, Rhys Rodgers; 3, Phelim O’Rourke; 4, Joseph McKearney.
Young handler, aged 13 to 18 years-old, sponsored by Fane Valley Stores – 1, Thomas McAlister; 2, Erin Nelson.