Martins Norbrook Blue Herd of the Year 2010 Winners
Martin Brothers, Ballyblack, Newtownards have won the Northern Ireland Norbrook British Blue Herd of the year 2010 Award
This prominent Co Down farming family also taking the large herd class prize and best bull award with their Springhill Herd.
The Reserve NI Herd of the Year award went to the Ballee Herd of Downpatrick breeder Alan Cleland, a pioneer of the ultimate beef terminal sire breed in Ulster.
best cow award also went to the Ballee Herd at Downpatrick with the Chatham
Herd of J Morrison & Son at Ballymoney showing the best heifer.
“To me there are two types of British Blue breeders, those who produce smart, muscular, eye catching show stock, the finished product, and secondly those who have the foundation stock that keep our breed moving forward. Their animals tend to be plainer, but growthy with good breeding cows and are vital to the production of Blues that will please farmers, processors and consumers.”
Continuing the judge praised the Martin Brothers Springhill herd which has ‘certainly arrived and contains both types of cattle, show animal and foundation stock.’
“James and Thomas have hit the jackpot in breeding as both their young stock and cows are just where one would want to be. To me, females are the key to success in any herd and the females in the herd of the Morrison family at Ballymoney were certainly impressive
“ As their bull came from my own herd I can freely say he is not the most eye catching of sires, but in the Chatham herd real progress is being made. Put to their excellent cows he had produced some very special progeny, including the competition’s best heifer.
“However, by far the most impressive female seen was 12 year old Pauline in the Ballee Herd of Alan Cleland, a remarkable example of the British Blue breed and worthy winner of the best cow award. It is no surprise to learn that she is the dam of several excellent bulls sold from 6000gns to 11000gsn or that a Pauline daughter and granddaughter, entered by the Clelands for the British Blue Society October Sale in Carlisle, are attracting considerable interest.
“I am a judge who really sticks by their own criteria and places the animal not the person at the halter. Thus I delighted to say that Northern Ireland breeders have a super standard of stock and stockmanship.
“Finding any fault anywhere in the herds visited would be night impossible though, dare I say it, on some farms a little more time in the office on administration would be useful!”
Results in full from the Norbrook Animal Health British Blue NI Herd of the Year competition were;