Armagh Show: Haffey family scoops honours again with top Holstein cow

Samara Radcliffe, from Banbridge, with the Pig Inter-Breed Champion at Saturday's Armagh Show
Samara Radcliffe, from Banbridge, with the Pig Inter-Breed Champion at Saturday's Armagh Show

Simon and Philip Haffey, owners of the Glasson Holstein herd, won the Dairy Inter Breed Championship at Armagh Show with their elite third calver Glasson Goldfish Form Erle.

This was the second week in a row in which they had topped the bill at a Co Armagh event, having secured the Supreme Cattle championship at Lurgan Show the previous Saturday with the same animal.

Erle is a grand-daughter of Field of Dreams Formation Erle EX95, which had previously held the top price paid for a Holstein cow of £75,000.

The Glasson cow calved in February and is currently giving 46 litres of milk per day at 4.55% butterfat and 3.55% protein.

“She is a tremendously well-bred animal,” Simon Haffey confirmed.

“Our plan is to take embryos from her later in the year.”

There was a tremendous turnout of dairy stock, across the board, at this year’s Armagh Show. The same could also be said for the number of visitors coming through the gates of Gosford Forest park, the now traditional venue of the event.

Frequent heavy showers failed to dampen the enthusiasm and enjoyment of everyone taking part in what has now become a blue-ribbon event in the Co Armagh calendar.

Meanwhile, in the beef cattle rings, the Matchett family, from the Birches in north Co Armagh, were having an equally successful day. Their two-year-old Charolais heifer Summervilla Niki won the Beef Inter Breed Championship. She beat off the stiff opposition posed by the majestic Limousin bull, shown by the Crawford family from Co Fermanagh.

Niki was bred by Co Roscommon breeder Ciaran O’Donnell.

“She is confirmed in calf to Allenford Vagabond,” Gail Matchett explained.

“He is quite an old bull now but is an extremely easy calving sire. We currently have six pedigree Charolais females in the herd. We plan to grow this number for the future.”

This year’s Armagh Show was also marked by the confirmation from the PSNI that rural crime has reduced significantly across Northern Ireland. Inspector Kieran Quinn, who is based in Armagh city, attended the event. He said: “Rural crime figures have fallen by 48% over the past number of years.

“This is a very encouraging figure and reflects the efforts farmers are taking to prevent crimes from taking place in the first place.”

He added: “There are 300 PSNI officers operating in the Banbridge, Armagh, and Craigavon areas. Our primary role is to advise farmers on how to prevent crime taking place in the first instance. The theft of a tractor, for example, is a major blow to any farming business.”