Monday 27 September 2021

Solpoll 1 Starlet M19 from John and William McMordie, Ballygowan, led the honours at Balmoral Show which this year was held in September rather than its usual May date. Judged by Devon cattle breeder Jeff Thomas who travelled from Cornwall, it lay host to 29 entries from 10 different exhibitors.

Solpoll 1 Starlet M19

Six and a half years old, this McMordie-bred cow is a daughter of the renowned Panmure 1 Henry which has already sired three Balmoral-winning daughters. Its dam is a Solpoll 1 Dynamite daughter and carries Canadian breeding on either side of its pedigree.

Shown with its heifer calf at-foot, Jeff Thomas described the female as a ‘good, strong, powerful cow with real style’, adding it had ‘bred and fed a real good calf’.

In the interbreed championship, this cow went on to be placed third by judge John Elliot of Rawburn Angus, Kelso.

John said: “All three females put on a maternal masterclass and on another day the Hereford could have won the show”.

In the final interbreed class of the week, the native team of five, consisting of cattle from the Haire family, John and William McMordie, Marcus Murdock, Stephen Cherry and Andrew McMordie took first prize.

The reserve Hereford champion was from the same stable and came in the form of Solpoll 1 Triumph which also won the junior championship. March 2020-born, it is by Moeskaer Mentos and out of another Starlet female and Henry daughter. In the interbreed performance recorded championship, this bull was tapped out as champion by well-known Kilrea-based Limousin breeder Paul Rainey, having already taken the native title.

Solpoll 1 Triumph

During the breed judging, Jeff commented the bull was a ‘good type of bull’ with ‘excellent feet’ being ‘thick and full in its plates and nice across its top’.

McMordies were back on top in the senior bull class, won by Solpoll 1 Real Good, out of another Panmure 1 Henry daughter, but this time it is an ET son of Canadian-bred NBG 69T The Wonderer 36R 3W.

Solpoll 1 Real Good

Success continued for the McMordie family in the 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2019-born heifer class where the reserve female champion was also found in the form of Solpoll 1 Starlet T4. Born in October 2019, it is a daughter of the show’s champion, Solpoll 1 Starlet M19. It is sired by Solpoll 1 Promoter, which is a son of the Canadian-bred FCC Twenty X 20X and was also reserve native and reserve overall interbreed beef performance champion. This heifer was also a class winner in the NIHBA virtual calf show last year.

Solpol 1 Starlet T4

The 1 January to 30 June 2019 heifer class was taken by Magheraknock Niki S2 from David Smyth, Ballynahinch, Co Down. By Free Town Mentor, a Mara Humorous son, it is out of a home-bred female, sired by Border Quaestor H5, bred by Stan Quan, Herefordshire.

Magheraknock Niki S2

The 2020-born heifer class was won by Stephen Cherry’s Ballypallady 1 TigerLily, a January-born Dorepoll 1 60G Chinook daughter. It is out of Boghill 1 Nicola, bred by FA and E Kerridge, Templepatrick, Co Antrim and by Trillick Hotspur, bred by Ireland’s JJ and C Farrell.

Ballypallady 1 TigerLily

The group of three class was again taken by John and William McMordie, with the trio made up of Solpoll 1 Triumph, Solpoll 1 Starlet T4 and Solpoll 1 Starlet M19.

Marcus Murdock took the pairs class with two Romany 1 Lawbreaker progeny.

Marcus Murdock’s pair

A duo of Solpoll animals placed third in the interbreed pairs competition from John and William McMordie. The Hereford group of three also placed third in the interbreed and was made up of Solpoll and Ballypallady animals.

A Hereford-cross heifer named Hetty from JCB Commercials, Newtonwards, Co Down led the native sired commercial class, bred by Aaron Quigley and out of a British Blue dam.

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