The principle of three being a lucky number is certainly resonating with Kilkeel farmer, Trevor Shields, following this year’s Balmoral Show.

He ended the event by winning the Champion of Champions with his in-calf Limousin heifer.

Earlier in the week he had won the Beef Inter-Breed title with the same animal. And, just for good measure, he also took home the Balmoral Large White pig championship with an eye-catching gilt.

Shields has been a pedigree pig breeder of note for many years. His genetics business has seen him exporting boar semen to many countries around the world.

The Kilkeeel pig operation continues to expand, all based on making available elite calibre genetics within an exemplary animal health scenario.

However, it is only in recent years that Trevor has committed to pedigree Limousin cattle breeding. His herd comprises 60 cows.

The winning heifer from Balmoral is Dinmore Sensation.

She was purchased for 30,000gns at an on-farm sale, held on Dinmore Estate, Herefordshire back in July 2022. Sensation was bred by Paul Dawes.

Her dam is Dinmore Perfection, while the sire is Meadowrig Pedro

Sensation was born in December 2021. She is currently three months in calf.

Trevor Shields commented: “We had previously taken some embryos from the heifer. She looked an absolute picture at Balmoral. Sensation is very much part of our herd development plans for the future.”

Ken Fletcher, from Scotland, had the job of judging the Champion of Champions class. He made it clear from the outset that he was not going to go over ground covered by previous judges.

Champion of Champions judge, Ken Fletcher, chatting to master of ceremonies, Libby Clarke, in the show ring at Balmoral

His final assessment was based on the breeding potential of the heifer.

“The fact that she, herself, is in-calf swayed it for me,” Fletcher added.  

He also commented: “Agriculture is all about looking to the future.”

And so ends another Balmoral Show. The event is estimated to have attracted over 100,000 people over four days.

The tremendous weather of last week would certainly have helped to boost numbers.

One of the most interesting facets to Balmoral is the number of visitors from the Republic that make their way north for the event.

This is a trend that continues to grow. Matching this is the commitment of Irish pedigree cattle breeders, who now compete at Balmoral on a regular basis.

A case in point is the Jones’ family, from Co Wexford, owners of Hallow Holsteins, who came close to winning the Holstein Championship at Balmoral this year.