Omagh Show 2024 enjoyed a record entry of sheep with classes continuing on well into the afternoon.

The event’s chief sheep steward, Tommy Harkin, commented: “But it isn’t all about the numbers. The quality of the sheep taking part in all the classes this year was immense.”

The inter-breed sheep championship was won by a very eye-catching Blackface ewe, bred and exhibited by Veronica, Patrick and Dominic Fullerton, from Draperstown in Co. Derry.

Tommy Harkin (right), chief sheep steward at Omagh Show, congratulates James Murnion, from Kilkeel in Co. Down on winning the North Country Cheviot Championship and sheep inter-breed reserve at Omagh Show 2024

Livestock breeding can be a very subjective science. But from their point of view, it really is a case of building on foundations that have been built up over many years.

The mother of this year’s inter-breed champion won that very same class at Omagh Show 2023. It’s hard to beast consistency.

Alec Brown, from Dumfriesshire in Scotland judged the sheep-inter breed classes at Omagh 2024. He described his champion as a ‘truly excellent Blackface ewe’.

Meanwhile, Slatabogie Holstein enjoyed a day to remember at Omagh Show 2024, securing the Champion of Champions accolade with a truly immense Holstein cow: Aliann Pepper Lila Z.

The third calver is 300 days in milk, having given 13,500kg of milk in her previous full lactation. She looked an absolute picture in the ring.

Eoin of Balmoral, the four-year-old Highland bull, competed at Omagh Show 2024. He was exhibited by (l-r): Linda Moore, Mayne, Omagh; Clive Backus, Ballymena; Alastair Moore; and Ashley Backus

Prior to her winning the final show class of the day at Omagh, the cow had also notched up the Holstein championship, the dairy inter-breed title, and the overall cattle championship of the event, a class which had seen her put up against the beef-inter breed champion at the Co. Tyrone venue.

Earlier this year, Lila Z was selected as the honourable mention in the Emerald Expo senior championship class. That event was held in Virginia, Co. Cavan.

The overall cattle championship class at Omagh was judged by Dungannon auctioneer, Trevor Wylie. He described his champion as the ‘real deal’.

“She has everything – tremendous presence, excellent dairy character and genuine style,” he said.

“But it’s hard to overlook the fact that she is well into her third lactation and can still catch the eye. Successful cattle breeding is all about longevity and having stock that can breed successfully, year after year.”

The inter-breed beef championship at Omagh was awarded to an eye-catching Charolais heifer, bred and exhibited by the Devine family from, Glenmoran, Strabane in north Co. Tyrone.

Judging of the inter-breed ewe lamb class at Omagh Show 2024

Brownhill Tara was jointly exhibited by brothers Thomas and Richie. The heifer is 24-months-of-age, home bred and is due to calve in early 2025. There are 10 pedigree females in the Brownhill herd.

The inter-breed beef champion at Omagh Show 2024 with the winning connections

Beef inter-breed judge, Barney O’Kane, described his champion as an excellent example of the Charolais breed, adding: “She has tremendous size, shape and ring presence. The heifer should develop into a tremendous breeding cow.

“The fact that she is already in calf stands in her stead.”