Armagh Show 2024 boasted, possibly, its largest cattle entry of all time. Judging of the various classes went on well into the afternoon.

The interbreed beef championship was awarded to Kilkeel Limousin breeder, Trevor Shields with a tremendous 22-month-old heifer, Glenmarshal Theduchess.

She looked an absolute picture in the ring.

John Kingham, from Tateetra Farms in Co. Louth, judged the beef interbreed class. He described his champion as an elite heifer.

“She just stood out that little bit on the day,” he said.

“For me she had everything that a elite beef breeding heifer should have – tremendous presence, scope and an all-round quality that only top animals possess.

“I was very impressed with the overall quality of the cattle taking part in the classes that were herd throughout the day.”

Tateetra Farm is home to the largest herd of sucklers  in Ireland.

John Kingham continued: “We will be calving in excess of 500 cows this year.”

The winning beef interbreed connections were the inaugural recipients of the Charlotte Crowe Perpetual Cup, named after a former patron of Armagh Show, who passed away in December 2023.

Sheep classes at Armagh Show

Meanwhile, the summer of 2024 just keeps on improving for Co. Down Suffolk sheep breeder, Mark Priestly.

He started off this year’s showing season with an emphatic Balmoral interbreed championship victory, showing a truly elite shearling ewe.

And then, just for good measure, he secured the interbreed sheep championship at last weekend’s Armagh Show with another shearling ewe.

Getting ready for the ring at Armagh Show 2024 (l-r): James Maybin, Ballymena; Johnny Harkness, and John Maybin, Ballymena

The commitment of the Downpatrick man to breed Suffolk sheep of the highest quality is immense. This was his third Armagh interbreed sheep victory on the spin.

Alison Crabbe, from Raphoe in Co. Donegal, judged the final sheep class of the day at Armagh Show 2024. She farms a mix of Beltex and Badger sheep in tandem with Hereford cattle.

The judge described her champion as a tremendous example of the Suffolk breed. “She has tremendous length and balance. It’s almost as if she had an extra rib. The shearling has tremendous breeding potential for the future,” she said.

The winning ewe will be put to the ram in September, in preparation for lambing next January.

Dairy champions

The dairy interbreed championship at Armagh Show 2024 was won by George and Jason Booth, from Stewartstown in Co. Tyrone, with their impressive Holstein third calver, Brookroad Satrin 185.

The reserve went to the Fleming family, from Seaforde in Co. Down with their Jersey third calver, Potterswalls Impression Lady 6.

James Morton, from Armagh, with the Holstein reserve champion at Armagh Show 2024

The Holstein judge – Andrea Rafferty, from Co. Monaghan – described her champion as a tremendous dairy cow.

“She is very silky, very dairy and has tremendous feet and legs,” she said.

“Her mammary system is excellent. The cow also has tremendous balance. Both the winning cow and the reserve could win a lot of classes around the country.”

Sathrin is currently giving 55L of milk per day.

“She calved for the third time back in February,” Jason Booth explained.

“She was second in the four-year-old class at this year’s Balmoral Show. Hopefully she is back in calf to the Candain bull, Logic PP.

We used a sexed straw, so hopefully we can look forward to the arrival of a heifer calf in a few months’ time.” 

The Jersey interbreed reserve is also performing extremely well at the present time.

According to Lindsay Fleming, she is giving 33L of milk at the present at 5.6% butterfat and 3.89% protein.