Greenacres heifer is ‘Top Lass’ at Northern Ireland Aberdeen-Angus Calf Show
By Julie Hazelton
An impressive show with some phenomenal and well turned out animals was how Scottish judge Nicola Howie described the NI Aberdeen Angus Club’s annual calf show, held at Dungannon Farmers’ Mart. Nicola Howie from the 20-cow Cairnton Herd based in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, was the overall winner of the breed society’s recent Youth Development Programme national final.
The Dungannon event attracted more than 70 calf and young handler entries.
There was strong competition in the young handler classes, with top place in the junior section going to Jasmine Parke from the Coolermoney Herd, Strabane. The winner of the intermediate class was Joe Mallon from the Swatragh-based Knockoneil Herd; while Sam Matchett, Birches Herd, Portadown, was the winner of the senior handling class.
“The competitors were all very polite, and did a good job in the showring. Their calves were well groomed and presented, and I was very impressed with the high standard of stockmanship,” explained Nichola.
Star of the show, and winner of the heifer calf championship and supreme overall title, was the seven-month-old Greenacres Top Lass Y201 ET, bred by new breeders Noel Willis, and son Daniel from Portadown.
The father and son team established the Greenacres Herd in 2020 with advice from good friend and fellow pedigree breeder Brian Anderson (Drumgar Lodge). Foundation females and embryos were purchased from the HW and Netherton herds own by William McLaren in Perthshire, and the Mosshall Herd in West Lothian. The Greenacres prefix currently comprises of eight black and red Angus females.
The 2022 calf show winner was the result of an embryo from Netherton Top Lass T879 ET, and the AI sire Netherton Americano M703.
Nicola Howie said: ”Today’s overall champion is a very smart heifer with so much style and flash. She has a really sweet head, and is very thick through the body. This is the type of Aberdeen Angus female that I like, and she will grow on and mature into an exceptional cow.”
Taking the reserve heifer calf and reserve supreme championship awards was Glenbrae Red Miss Kayo Y477 ET, bred by William and Jane Dodd, and sons Jamie and Lewis, from Saintfield. This eight-month-old heifer was sired by Mosshall Red Evolution 353 ET, and is out of Gannon Red Miss Kayo S697 – one of 25 females in the herd.
The reserve champion as a full brother, Glenbrae Red Mr Kayo W825, at the AI Services (NI) Ltd bull stud.
“This is another very flashy heifer with a brilliant body. She was just pipped at the post by the champion. This red heifer is another excellent cow maker,” added the judge.
The Parke family’s Coolermoney Herd dominated the yearling championship line-up.
Coolermoney Ruth X086 was the yearling champion; while her herd mate Coolermoney Eric X145 collected the runner-up plaudits.
Born in March 2021, and sired by Rawburn Jagger Eric R094, Coolermoney Ruth X086 is no stranger to the limelight, having won the reserve overall award at the NI Aberdeen Angus Club’s Summer Championship at Clogher in July. She was bred from Coolermoney Rachel V913 – one of seven cows in the herd.
“I really loved the senior heifer. She has a phenomenal head, super conformation and great breed character. I’d quite happily have a herd of heifers like this,” added Nicola Howie.
The July 2021 Coolermoney Eric X145 was sired by Rawburn Black Bush S420, and is bred from Cloghogmill Emma R244. He was described by the judge as a flashy young bull, full of character.
The bull calf championship was scooped up by Tullybryan Lord Jono Y455, a ten-month-old Stouphill Bomber T182 son, bred by Fiona Troughton, Ballygawley. His dam, Tullybryan Lady Jonelle S884 is one of 10 breeding females in the herd.
Nicola Howie commented: “This bull calf is really thick and has very good conformation. He has so much bone, and will grow and develop into a sale topper.”
Winning the reserve bull calf championship was the five-month-old Home Farm Erne Y802 bred by Fintan Keown, who runs a herd of 10 pedigree and 30 commercial cows at Belleek. A son of Haymount War Smith R578, he is out of Home Farm Ebony Stunner S087.
“This baby bull shows great prospects for the future. He is thick, has a nice head and great breed character. I’ve no doubt he will mature into a great stock bull,” added the judge.
The award for the champion pair of calves was won by Dartrey Delleric Y162 and Dartrey Diane Erica Y151, bred by NI club chairperson Hylda Mills, Scarva. These March-born heifers are by Mosshall Red Junior Eric U911.
The Matchett family claimed the reserve award with Birches Bell Y911 and Birches Lord Jacob Y767.
The NI Aberdeen Angus Club is indebted to its sponsors, without whom this event would not have been possible. Thanks also to the judge Nicola Howie, and the Wylie Family for the use of the excellent facilities at Dungannon Farmers’ Mart.