On Tuesday 21st November 2023 Northern Ireland’s finest stock enticed a flood of potential buyers to the sixth Royal Ulster Premier Beef & Lamb Championships.
The atmosphere in the Logan Hall at the Eikon Exhibition Centre was electric as exhibitors competed for the highly contested Championship titles. With the rings encircled by butchers, retailers and spectators, the event culminated in a spirited auction as stock shown on the day was up for sale in the evening.
The cattle rings formed centre stage for the coveted 2023 Supreme Championship. Featuring an unrivalled line up, the title and RJ Allam’s Cup was awarded to JCB Commercials, Newtownards for their Limousin heifer, Hips Don’t Lie. On the night the animal, who clocked up 674kg on the weighbridge, went under the hammer for a record-breaking £15,000 (£22.26/Kg) and was sold to Top Star Farms Ltd. Having given her a tight run for the title, Rodgers Livestock from Dromara was awarded this year’s Reserve Supreme Champion with their British Blonde heifer, Biscoff who was later purchased by S & A May from Worcestershire for £5,200 (£7.45/Kg).
Another highlight from the busy timetable saw Richard Law from Ballinamallard secure the Ulster Housewife’s Championship with Poppy who tipped the scales at 566kg. Following a flurry of bids, Conor McAlinden from Rathfriland acquired the Limousin heifer for £6,100 (£10.78/kg) while Allen Shortt from Strabane was awarded Reserve Ulster Housewife’s Champion. His heifer, Lucky Escape, was sold for £3,100 (£5.17/kg) and will soon feature on the menu at The Morning Star in Belfast.
As the Champion Calf class got underway it was clear from the strong selection of competitors that the judge had a tough decision on his hands. In the end, Alistair Crawford from Newtownstewart won the championship with his Limousin sired heifer, Red Ruby. Purchased for £6,200 by Raymond Boyd from Drumquin, the Reserve title was then awarded to Leonard Bros from Irvinestown for their Limousin bullock which later sold for £3,600 to C McVeigh.
The lamb entries were of exceptional quality making the Best Butcher Pair Championship a hotly contested slot in this year’s showing timetable. After the judge’s deliberation, Tommy Jackson from Ballynahinch came away with the title and the leading lamb price of £400 per lamb. This superb pair of Dutch Spotted lambs was snapped up by David Kerr from Kircubbin for £7.34/kg. The Reserve title was awarded to A & J Carson from Strabane for their well-matched Beltex pair who later sold at auction for £380 (£7.17/kg).
Rhonda Geary, Operations Director, RUAS commented ‘Seeing the Royal Ulster Premier Beef & Lamb Championships celebrate six years of success has been a fantastic achievement for everyone involved. We were delighted to welcome so many potential buyers and showcase the highest standard of prime stock within the Northern Ireland Beef and Lamb industries.
The fierce competition amongst exhibitors throughout the day followed by record breaking sales in the evening highlighted the strength of this pinnacle event.
On behalf of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, I would like to thank our sponsors and local breed societies for their generous support and contributions towards the prize fund. Thanks must also go to our top class exhibitors, judges, stewards and RUAS staff for helping us to deliver such a prominent and renowned stock show and sale’.
For the full breakdown of results please click here.