The Royal Ulster Beef and Lamb Championships took place in the Eikon Exhibition Centre in Lisburn last Tuesday, 21 November, for the sixth time.
As you would expect, the quality was off the charts and the judges were left with incredibly tough decisions to make when it came to the championships in the evening time.
A top-class day in the show ring and sales ring saw JCB Commercials, Newtownards, Co Down, complete its drive for five after winning its fifth supreme championship at Allams, first in 2016, then in 2019 before its hat-trick which made history after coming out on top in 2021, 2022 and now 2023.
The April 2022-born heifer from the JCB Commercials team of Gareth Corrie, Johnny Neill and Charlie Beverland is an Idol daughter purchased by the team at the 2022 Carrick-on-Shannon Winter Fair from the renowned calf producer, Pearse McNamee.
Hips Don’t Lie enjoyed a successful summer on the NI show circuit and was the supreme champion at the Northern Ireland Commercial Cattle Exhibitors Club Summer Spectacular back in September. She battled in a tough class of Limousin heifers on Tuesday afternoon before judge Jean MacKay tapped her forward as the Limousin champion and supreme champion of the 2023 championships.
After what had already been a successful day in the show ring, Hips Don’t Lie entered the sales ring later that night and the bidding led to yet another victory for the team.
Oozing class as she danced around the ring, the young heifer flew to a massive £15,000 (€17,217) as auctioneer Richard Beattie dropped the gavel to a phone bidder.
The reserve supreme championship title was awarded to the Rodgers family from Dromara, Co Down, with their British Blonde heifer, Biscoff. Biscoff was victorious in the Blonde-sired heifer class before being selected as the breed champion at the show on Tuesday afternoon. She later sold to James May for £5,200 (€5,984).
The title of Charolais champion was awarded to Robert Miller from Magherfelt, while James Alexander from Randalstown scooped the Hereford, Shorthorn, Simmental and British Blue championship.
Following in his proud footsteps, James’s daughter Mya also won the young farmers’ championship on the evening.
Blain O’Hare from Hilltown scooped the breeding heifer championship and it was Richie Law from Ballinamallard that was tapped forward as the Ulster Housewife’s Champion.
In the calf ring, it was Alister Crawford from Newtownstewart with his Limousin-cross heifer calf that was tapped forward as the calf champion. The June-born calf sold later in the evening for £6,200 (€7,135).
The junior beef heifer championship was won by young Sam Matchett from Portadown with his British Blue-sired heifer. The June-born calf sold for £4,800 (€5,524) on the evening.
In the lamb section, the champion pair of butchers’ lambs was won by Tommy Jackson from Ballynahinch while the reserve champion was awarded to A & J Carson from Strabane.