The Flavours of Fingal County Show in North Co Dublin was held at Newbridge House & Gardens in summer’s sunshine on Saturday 29th June 2014. Judge for the event was Co. Tyrone Hereford breeder Mr Des Kelly.
The judge selected Christine Drumm’s cow Kilsunny Doreen’s Ivy with her January 2014 bull calf at foot as his Champion. This fine young cow was purchased as a heifer from breeder Trevor Dudley, Dovea, Co Tipperary.
Michael Molloy made a worthwhile journey from Co. Offaly as he was awarded the Reserve Champion ticket with Moyclare Malcolm. This 10 month old bull calf is sired by stock bull at Moyclare, Brocca Saviour and was also the winner of the bull born between the 1st June 2013 & 15th October 2013 earlier in the day. Michael also exhibited the winner of the bull calf born after the 15th October 2013
Philip Smyth was successful with his two entries. His 15 month old Ardmulchan Jackpot was placed 1st in the bull born on or before 31st May 2013 and following on from her recent success at The Co. Louth show, Ardmulchan Clover 610 also received 1st place in the heifer born after 15th October 2013.
The general feeling of the exhibitors present is that this newly established show should be supported because of its brilliant facilities and prize money.
Ann Fitzgerald once again raised the ire of many Hereford enthusiasts with her article in the Farming Independent last week.
Farming Independent Journalist Ann Fitzgerald is it would appear suffering severe pain and anguish given the current price of beef available in the market place. Anne is wife of beef farmer Robin Talbot, Coole, Ballacolla, Co Laois. They farm some 600 acres approx. in some of the best farming land in Ireland. They use Belgian Blue and Limousin stock bulls while the cows are Limousin cross. Robin hosts farm visits; mainly by other farmers and agricultural students but also by others from the broader agri sector and will always try to facilitate anybody wishing to visit. “In order for farming to survive I believe it is critical that farmers help each other by sharing their experiences and information” so says Robert on his website.
Given such an information sharing approach Robert will I feel welcome an opportunity for him and his wife Anne to study research by Teagasc at Johnstown Castle which indicates a gross margin of up to €2000 per hectare from Hereford cross achievable. Published by Teagasc the content of this document was delivered at the National Beef Conference held at the New Park Hotel Kilkenny on 9th October 2013. Can suckler beef figures compete?
Anne’s recent article in the Farming Independent “Pointless following Market Trend For No Profit” finishing with “Indeed, with the exception of a few small niche markets, the only places that these early maturing breeds are being farmed commercially are where hormones can be used” is derogatory and appears to be a cry for help but in her desperation she cannot see the wood for the trees or perhaps refuses to see that a less blinkered approach could yield dividends.
This Society does not and will not run down or denigrate any other breed of cattle as Ann Fitzgerald has done in her obvious frustration at current beef prices. Her vitriolic finishing paragraph quoted above while blatantly untrue is unworthy of a journalist of her calibre. This is not a first offense and appears at this point to be a deeply ingrained obsession. We feel your pain Ann but suggest you divert your anger elsewhere.
It is the position of the Irish Hereford Society that all of the cattle breeds currently within the country have a role to play and differing strengths to offer the producer. There is probably more difference within than between breeds. The promotion of a product should not be dependent on denigrating the product of the competition. The Hereford breed has many major plus factors that are based on solid facts as identified by Teagasc at Johnstown and elsewhere across the great beef producing countries of the world. Ease of calving, docility, milk and fertility are very desirable traits. Carcass size, conformation and fat-score are ideal for current markets in the UK and beyond. Branded Hereford beef is in wide demand on the home market in the UK and in top restaurants and supermarkets across Europe. Long may it continue we say and well done to those Hereford beef producers who each week supply the necessary product to fill these branded beef markets worth in excess of 5 million per annum and growing. There are also opportunities for new suppliers.
Ann please note
The Hereford breed is not responsible for current beef prices.
The performance of the breed at Tully and elsewhere has equalled and bettered that of other breeds.
The Hereford breed has invested immense effort and capital in improving the genetics within the breed.
The Hereford breed has invested time, effort and capital in the development and promotion of its beef.
The Hereford breed will consort with and cross well with other beef and dairy breeds. The Hereford is not racist.
Teagasc figures show that there is no better suckler dam than the Hereford cross.
Hereford sired stock including those out of continental cross dams qualify for premium prices through the branded beef schemes.
Should we send flowers or perhaps a voucher for a delicious, succulent Hereford steak to ease the mind and caress the palate.
Full credit goes to Northern Ireland Hereford breeders who had a tremendous turnout of cattle at the annual Balmoral show. All animals were were well presented and in very good show condition given it is so early in the season. Numbers of Herefords entered were possibly the highest ever and the largest representation for any cattle breed at the event. Just two breeders from the south had Herefords exhibited. Coote Geelan a regular exhibitor and former championship winner had a team from his Baltymore herd in Co Leitrim on show while Albert De Cogan, Castlemartyr had a Hereford heifer. Albert also had his Angus bull Rosemead Karona J957 on display initially winning his class and later going all the way to take the Angus Championship.
The Reserve Grand Female Hereford Champion came from the first class of the day, and was exhibited by John and Karen Taggart, Carrowdore. Their eight year old cow “Knockmountagh Olga” bred by Eamon McKiernan, Monasterboice, Co Louth has enjoyed a super show career and was shown with her calf at foot. She is sired by Churchill Storm, and is out of Knockmountagh Aileen. There were 10 cows forward in this class making it the largest Senior Female Class in the entire beef section.
Andrew McMordie celebrated success winning the Reserve Grand Hereford Male Championship with his September 2012 born Solitude 1 Kingdom, a son of Gouldingpoll 1 Captain (GCT) bred by Matthew Goulding, Ballyduff, Co Kerry and currently standing at Dovea Genetics, Co Tipperary. This red ticket winner represented a sole entry from Andrew’s Solitude herd based at Ballygowan and sold at the show to a local pedigree breeder.
“Craigy Honey Pie 2nd” was winner of the July – December 2012 born Hereford female class for Desmond Martin, Saintfield. This home bred heifer is sired by the highly successful Parkhill Pompeii a son of Yarram Pompeii V055 the noted BIS sire and the dam is Duibhgiolla Honey Pie bred by well-known Co Leitrim breeders Kevin & Monica Diffley.
Judge for the event was Andrew Owen, Church Preen Herefords, Shropshire, UK Report with assistance of Libby Clarke Photos by Alfie Shaw