Quality and breeding was to the fore when the maiden heifer Ballinalare Farm Nikita from Mr J & Mr A Wilson, Newry, Co Down lifted the Simmental Overall Supreme Championship at the 2023 RUAS Balmoral Show, Balmoral Park, on Wednesday 10th May.
A small but strong Simmental section was presented before the judge on the day, Stewart Stronach of the prolific Islavale herd, Berryleys Farm, Keith on the opening afternoon of what was the 154th staging of Northern Ireland’s blue riband agricultural show.
The fifteen-month-old Ballinalare Farm Nikita took first prize in the second class of the day before moving on to win the Heifer Championship, the Overall Female Championship, and getting the judge’s final tap out as the day’s Overall Supreme Champion. February 2022 born, Ballinalare Farm Nikita is sired by the 14,000gns Saltire Impressive who was also the sire of last year’s RUAS Balmoral Show Champion. She is out of Ballinalare Farm Ilyssa whose Granddam is a full sister of the noted Ballinalare Farm Nightrider who was bought by Iain Green, Fochabers and went on to breed well in the noted Corskie herd.
Commenting on his Champion, the judge Stewart Stronach said: “Ballinalare Farm Nikita was an outstanding animal. Long and clean, she just oozed breed and show character. A really modern Simmental heifer and a very worthy Champion.”
Long term exhibitors, the Wilsons have been showing at the RUAS Balmoral Show for over 30 years and with many Championship wins in that time. Perhaps most notably is Ballinalare Farm Money Penny who won in 2004 as a heifer, before repeating the win in 2005 with her first calf, and completing the hat-trick in 2006 with her second calf! This is a feat never completed previously with a homebred animal.
From here the aim of the Wilsons is to continue to show Ballinalare Farm Nikita throughout this summer and to help with the promotion of the fourth Production Sale from the Ballinalare herd, and along with the Ranfurly herd, planned to be held in September 2024.
The Championship win continued what has been a terrific 2023 year to date for the Ballinalare Farm father and son team Joe and Alan Wilson. In February, Alan Wilson’s Bannhill Farm Masterpiece lifted the Supreme Championship at the Stirling Simmental Bull Sale before going on to sell for 28,000gns, and set a new record top price for a Simmental bull from Northern Ireland.
Following the Champion through the female section, and lifting the Reserve Overall Supreme title, and Reserve Overall female was the winner of the first class of the day, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14 from David and Jonny Hazelton’s Dungannon based 20-cow herd. October 2021 born, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st is out of Ranfurly Lady Diana 33rd J5 18 VG88, a Raceview King daughter, and whose pedigree goes back to the renowned Salisbury Guinevere, the foundation female of that line. Lady Diana 41st is by the prolific Auchorachan Hercules who himself was bred from a Ranfurly embryo and which in itself is a great source of pride for the Hazeltons. Again, regular exhibitors at Balmoral over a number of years the Ranfurly herd won back to back Championships in 2018, and 2019, and lifted the Reserve Overall title last year.
Commenting on Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14, David Hazelton said: “We’re delighted to win both the Reserve Overall and Reserve Female titles at this prestigious show. This heifer has always had that bit of star quality and she was shown successfully as a calf last year at both Armagh and Dungannon. At this point we have plans to take her to one or two further summer shows this year.” Later in the show there was further success for the Ranfurly herd when Ranfurly Weikel 45th M11, who placed second to the Reserve Overall in her class, took Reserve in the Interbreed Continental Heifer – Beef Recorded Championship. In the Interbreed Exhibitor Bred Pairs, judged by George Harvey, Perth, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14 teamed up with Ranfurly Notorious 22, the February 2022 born Auchorachan ACDC son, to take a very creditable third in the Interbreed Exhibitor Bred Pairs.
Michael Durno’s Auchorachan breeding was again evident in the bulls with the Male Championship being awarded to Auchorachan Majestic 21 entered and shown by William & Jane Dodd who run the Craigy pedigree herd at Saintfield, Co Down. This September 2021 born bull was purchased at Stirling in February this year with William Dodd saying; “We just thought this bull had something special when we saw him as he was just full of style and not too extreme. We were delighted to get him and now to win the Male Championship at Balmoral with him is just a fantastic bonus. However his showing days are now over as he is the herd’s new stock bull and will soon be going out with the cows!”
In what is only the Craigy herds second year showing at Balmoral this is their second Male Championship in a row and following on from the homebred Craigy Max’s win last year. Rounding off a cracking show day for the Dodds, the February 2022 born Craigy Notorious also won his class before placing Reserve Junior Champion to the Overall Supreme. Craigy Notorious is by Keeldrum Fabregas 14, and is out of the Popes Barclay daughter Craigy Violet G6. Very much a family affair, Notorious was ‘picked from the pens’ by Jamie and Lewis, William and Jane’s sons who spotted his potential from being a young calf. Both keen cattle men in their own right, Jamie and Lewis took turns to show the bulls on the day.
Come the Interbreeds the Simmental entries more than held their own and with the Simmentals taking the Reserve Overall in the Interbreed Group of Three in front of the judge Andrew Hughes, Halifax. The Simmental team comprised of Ballinalare Farm Nikita; Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st; and Auchorachan Majestic.
Congratulations are extended to all exhibitors at the 2023 RUAS Balmoral Show who represented the Simmental breed so well.
2023 Balmoral Show Simmental Results
The Bobbie Dickson Perpetual Championship Trophy for the Champion: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14.
British Simmental Cattle Society Engraved Crystal Glasses for the Champion: Alan Wilson
Imex Perpetual Cow Bell for the Female Champion: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14
Bangor and Six Road Ends Farmers’ Union Perpetual Trophy for the Female Champion: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14
Bobbie Gamble Perpetual Challenge Trophy for the Best Heifer: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14
NI Simmental Club Trophy for the Exhibitor-bred Male Champion: William and Jane Dodd, Auchorachan Majestic 21. Reserve: William & Jane Dodd, Craigy Notorious 22.
William Black Memorial Perpetual Cup for the Male Champion: William and Jane Dodd, Auchorachan Majestic 21. Reserve: William & Jane Dodd, Craigy Notorious 22.
News Letter Shield for Junior champion: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita . Reserve: William & Jane Dodd, Craigy Notorious 22.
Silver Award for the best exhibit bred in Northern Ireland: Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita.
Cow or heifer, born between 1 July 21 & 31 December 21 – 1, WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14. 2 WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Weikel 45th M11. 3, Connor Wilkinson, Mount Natalia.
Heifer, born on or after 01/01/22 – 1, Alan Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Nikita; 2, Andrew Clarke, Breaghey Vida N435; 3, Andrew Clarke, Breaghey Nadine. 4 Molly Bradley, Clonagh Posh Pixie.
Bull, born on or before 31/12/21 – 1, William and Jane Dodd, Auchorachan Majestic 21.
Bull born on or after 1st January 2022 – 1 William & Jane Dodd, Craigy Notorious 22. 2 WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Notorious N2. 3 Mrs Julie Wallace, Ashfurly Notorious
Pair, property of exhibitor – 1, WD and JD Hazelton; 2, William & Jane Dodd; 3, Andrew Clarke.
A fantastic display of Simmental cattle was the general ringside consensus at the second staging of the Four Breed Calf Show held in Dungannon Farmers Market on Saturday 26th November 2022. Judging of the Simmental classes was in the very capable hands of Neil McIlwaine of the well-known Corrick Herd, Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone. Sponsor of the Simmental section was Ann Kennedy from Centra Ballinderry Catering Service.
Winning the Senior Championship was Coolcran Maximus from Shane and Paul McDonald, Tempo, Co. Fermanagh with Coolcran Maximus. This September 2021 born calf is by the 10,000gns sire Wolfstar Elusive and is out of the Ashland Brandy daughter Coolcran Lady Erin, the Reserve Female Champion at Balmoral Show in 2015. Commenting on his Senior Champion, Neil Mcilwaine said: “This is an excellent example of a clean, modern Simmental bull. He has great locomotion with excellent width, topline, and squareness of his plates. Just a very well-balanced bull with fantastic length.” Earlier this summer, Coolcran Maximus won the Male Championship and Reserve Junior Championship at the NI Simmental National Show at Armagh County Show.
Lifting the Junior Championship was Lisglass Nightingale from Leslie and Chris Weatherup, Ballyclare, Co Antrim. January 2022 born, Lisglass Nightingale is by Omorga Jaguar, a Mullynock Gallant sired bull, and is out of the homebred Lisglass Gypsy, a Kilbride Farm Bantry daughter. Of his Junior Champion, Neil Mcilwaine said: “This is a well grown, very stylish heifer with an excellent top line and plates. Again, she has great locomotion and really oozes femininity.”
Taking the Reserve Senior Champion was Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14 from WD & JD Hazelton, Dungannon Co Tyrone. October 2021 born, this heifer is by Auchorachan Hercules 16, and is out of Ranfurly Lady Diana 33rd. Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st is another calf to have featured at the NI Simmental National Show and where she won her class for junior heifers born between September and December 2021.
Back to the juniors and it was Haystar Diamond 2 from G Hays & Son, Lisburn, Co Antrim that won the Reserve Junior Championship. January 2022 born this calf is by Kilbride Farm Delboy and is out of Raceview Her Royal Diamond. Earlier this year, Haystar Diamond 2 won class two of the British Simmental Cattle Society’s Virtual Show and from a class of 63 heifers from all round the UK.
2022 Four Breeds Calf Show Simmental Results
Senior Bull Class (Born 01/09/21 – 31/12/21)
1st Coolcran Maximus 21 from S & P McDonald
2nd Craigy Magic 21 from William Dodd
Senior Heifer Class (Born 01/09/21 – 31/12/21)
1st Ranfurly Lady Diana 41st M14 from WD & JD Hazelton
2nd Craigy Beatrice M3 from William Dodd
3rd Lisglass Moneypenny from Leslie & Chris Weatherup
Junior Bull Class (Born 01/01/22 – 31/03/22)
1st Drumbulcan Nathan 22 from Kenneth Stubbs
2nd Kilmore Nickel from Chris Traynor
3rd Drumbulcan Nelson from Kenneth Stubbs
4th Craigy Notorious 22 from William Dodd
Junior Heifer Class (01/01/22 – 31/03/22)
1st Lisglass Nightingale from Leslie and Christopher Weatherup
2nd Haystar Diamond 2 from G Hays & Sons
3rd Drumbulcan Nala from Kenneth Stubbs
4th Breaghey Nadine from Andrew Clarke
5th Breaghey Vida N-435 from Andrew Clarke
6th Rehall Nougat from W & K Stubbs
Junior Bull Class (Born on or after 01/04/22)
1st Scribby Farms Nelson from Keith Nelson
2nd Haystar Noble from G Hays & Sons
Junior Heifer Class (Born on or after 01/04/22)
1st Drumagarner Nikki from E McCloskey
2nd Ashland Lucy Nora from Pat Kelly
3rd Rehall Nancy from W & K Stubbs
4th Belragh Natalya Ginger from Joseph Muldon 5th Craigy Jessica from William Dodd 6th Scribby Farms Nightingale from Keith Nelson
1st Kenneth Stubbs (Drumbulcan)
2nd W & K Stubbs (Rehall)
3rd Andrew Clarke (Breaghey)
4th William Dodd (Craigy)
5th William Dodd (Craigy)
Senior Young Handlers
1st Thomas McAllister
2nd Grace Elwood
3rd Jason Little
Junior Young Handlers
1st Rhys Rodgers
2nd Caitlin McGartland
3rd Patrick McCloskey
The NI Simmental Club would like to congratulate and thank all exhibitors who turned out stock for Saturdays event, and which resulted in a fantastic display of Simmental cattle. Also special thanks to our Sponsor Ann Kennedy from Centra Ballinderry Catering Service, our Judge Neil Mcilwaine, our ring stewards, to Dungannon Farmers Market, and to David Porter from Mullagh photography.
A very stylish and powerful heifer was how judge David Lowry described the supreme Simmental champion at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society’s 153rd annual show, held at Balmoral Park.
Mr Lowry who runs the 65-cow Keeldrum Herd based at Lanark in Scotland, returned to home soil to judge the Simmental entry at the four-day show. Originally from County Down, the former auctioneer has been living in Scotland for 22 years.
He was a regular exhibitor at Balmoral’s King’s Hall site, and won the male championship in 1996 with stock bull Carrigeen Farm Dandy, winner of the NI Simmental Male of the Year title in 1996 and 1997.
“There was a small turnout of Simmentals at Balmoral, but the quality was excellent. The females were exceptionally good, and on the day dominated the bulls,” explained David Lowry, who judged the Balmoral sheep interbreed pair and group championships in 2015.
Catching David Lowry’s eye to secure the female and supreme overall championship plaudits was the September 2020 heifer Ashland Topaz Lopez bred by Pat Kelly, and son Frank, from Tempo, County Fermanagh. Sired by the 14,000gns Saltire Impressive, she is bred from the Ashland Brandy daughter, Ashland Topaz 2nd – one of ten cows in the herd.
This much-admired heifer won the Simmental senior championship at the inaugural Four Breeds Calf Show, held at Dungannon last November. This was the Ashland herd’s second supreme Balmoral title, having won the award in 2007 with the home-bred Ashland Lady Diamond 3rd.
David Lowry commented: “The champion is a very stylish and powerful heifer, with tremendous length. She oozes style and ring presence, is full of breed character, and displays great locomotion. A worthy winner!”
Runner-up was the reserve female champion Ranfurly Stella 12th from David and Jonny Hazelton’s 20-cow herd in Dungannon. Born in October 2020 she is by Whitemire King Kong, and bred from the Hillcrest Champion daughter Raceview Fancy Winty – purchased at Roscommon in 2016 for 4,600 Euros.
This heifer is a maternal sister to the 9,000gns Ranfurly Jackpot, sold at Stirling in February 2020.
“The reserve champion is another classy and stylish heifer, with great length and good locomotion,” added the judge.
Brothers Shane and Paul McDonald from Tempo won the junior championship award with the January 2021 Ashland Topaz Mair. Purchased privately from Pat and Frank Kelly last autumn, this heifer was sired by Saltire Impressive, and bred from the Whitemire King Kong daughter Ashland Topaz 3rd – a maternal sister to the dam of the supreme champion.
“The junior champion is a powerful junior heifer, with great width and tremendous fleshing ability,” commented David Lowry.
Claiming the male and reserve junior championship honours was the March 2021 bull Craigy Max bred by William, Jane, Jamie and Lewis Dodd from Saintfield. Sired by Longbeach Darius, his dam Ranfurly Kleeb 35th was purchased at the Ranfurly herd’s second production sale in 2016, and is one of 12 pedigree cows in the Craigy Herd.
David Lowry added: “This junior bull is a fine example of the breed, and has a level topline, great width throughout, and good locomotion.”
The reserve male championship went to Ballinalare Farm Mack, an eleven-month-old bull bred by Joe and Alan Wilson, Rathfriland. He was sired by the herd’s 8,200 Euros stock bull Rabawn Ernie, champion at the Irish society’s 2014 sale in Tullamore. His dam Ballinalare Farm Helena 2nd , is an Auchorachan Wizard daughter out of Glenturk Tulip, a heifer won by Joe Wilson in a charity raffle.
Joe and Alan Wilson also won the award for the best pair of Simmentals. The winning duo were Ballinalare Farm Ladybird and Ballinalare Farm Lizabel, described by the judge as well balanced and matching heifers. They are both daughters of the 10,000gns herd sire Denizes Fantastic – reserve junior champion at Stirling in February 2016.
Results from the judging ring….
The Bobbie Dickson Perpetual Championship Trophy for the champion: P Kelly. Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton.
British Simmental Cattle Society Engraved Crystal Glasses for the champion: P Kelly.
Imex Perpetual Cow Bell for the female champion: P Kelly. Reserve: WD and JD Hazelton.
Bangor and Six Road Ends Farmers’ Union Perpetual Trophy for the female champion: P Kelly.
Bobbie Gamble Perpetual Challenge Trophy for the best heifer: P Kelly.
NI Simmental Club Trophy for the exhibitor-bred male champion: William and Jane Dodd. Reserve: J and A Wilson.
William Black Memorial Perpetual Cup for the male champion: William and Jane Dodd.
News Letter Shield for the junior champion: S and P McDonald. Reserve: William and Jane Dodd.
Silver Award for the best exhibit bred in Northern Ireland: P Kelly.
Cow or heifer, born in 2019 – 1, William Gubbins, Prablin Lucy by Dermotstown Delboy.
Heifer, born between 01/01/20 and 30/06/20 – 1, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Lizabel by Denizes Fantastic; 2, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Ladybird by Denizes Delboy.
Heifer, born between 01/07/20 and 31/12/20 – 1, Pat and Frank Kelly, Ashland Topaz Lopez by Saltire Impressive; 2, WD and JD Hazelton, Ranfurly Stella 12th by Whitemire King Kong; 3, JL and CJ Weatherup, Lisglass Lollipop by Dermotstown Delboy.
Heifer, born on or after 01/01/21 – 1, S and P McDonald, Ashland Topaz Mair by Saltire Impressive; 2, JL and CJ Weatherup, Lisglass Marigold by Omorga Jaguar; 3, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Modesty by Camus Brandy.
Bull, born on or after 01/01/21 – 1, William and Jane Dodd, Craigy Max by Longbeach Darius; 2, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Mack by Rabawn Ernie.
Pair, property of exhibitor – 1, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Lizabel and Ballinalare Farm Ladybird; 2, JL and CJ Weatherup, Lisglass Marigold and Lisglass Lollipop; 3, J and A Wilson, Ballinalare Farm Modesty and Ballinalare Farm Medusa.
A big thank you to the Northern Ireland Simmental Club for inviting me to judge their National Show, the weather came with me! To start with we had a cow doing what they do best with a superb calf at foot. A young cow with plenty of character that moved well, and not overdone, Ranfurly Weikel 18th H2 later became Female Champion and Reserve Overall.
Moving onto the Senior Heifer class, maybe not the strongest of classes but two super heifers both turned out very professionally with Newbiemains Intrepid exhibited by Jonathan Henderson taking the first prize.
The Intermediate Heifer class presented four outstanding heifers, with first place going to Ranfurly Weikel 23rd. I couldn’t help but feel while I was judging that she was very similar in type to the cow with the calf at foot in the first class. She actually turned out to be her full sister and later became Reserve Female Champion.
The Junior Heifer class had six completely different type of heifers. I had to go with Cleenagh Jessica on the day as she really was at 12 O’Clock for a junior heifer. I did also like the second placed heifer Slievenagh Jewel who must have been giving quite a bit of age away and without a doubt her day will come. The next Junior Heifer class was well represented with Coolcran Lady Jasmine being the clear winner.
Overall I thought the females were of the highest quality and would not look out of place in any show in the UK.
The first Junior Bull class was won by Ranfurly Jameson. He had presence, style, locomotion and was exceptionally well turned. He later became Breed Champion and went on to Champion of Champions at the show. It was a strong class with exceptionally well turned out young bulls.
The next Junior Bull class was a lot easier to judge with only three bulls forward, and three completely different types altogether. I went with Derrycallaghan Jackpot, he was a bull with natural style and width.
The last Junior Bull was the big growth bull Coolcran Jameson, Again a strong class, Coolcran Jameson was a big bull for his age who moved well with plenty of width and style.
The best bull calf went to Breaghey Kingdom. This was a super calf and later went on to achieve Reserve Male Champion. The only way I could justify this was lining up the first prize Junior bulls. To judge a calf against young bulls I always feel you need to value the animal as if you were buying them.
The Northern Ireland Club can be immensely proud of the standard and quality of cattle forward and I thoroughly enjoyed my day. Good luck to all members and exhibitors with your future shows.