The Royal Smithfield Festival staged at Peterborough in December 2014 was dominated by Northern Irish exhibitors who laid claim to the two major Championships up for grabs. This is the first time in its 200 year history that local exhibitors have won the Supreme and Baby Beef Championships
Throughout its long and distinguished history the maintenance and improvement of livestock quality has been the main objective of the Royal Smithfield Club and it has been instrumental in encouraging breeders and farmers to produce animals of the highest possible standard.
For the dedicated showmen right across the British Isles, Smithfield has always been the “one to win” with the lure of such a presitigous title and strong returns in the sale ring. With the history and prestige in mind it was a nerve wrecking day for all involved but in the end the 2014 Supreme Championship was awarded to Dermot and Gareth Small, Kilkeel for their simply outstanding heifer “Khaleesi”. This Limousin heifer was bred by us here at the Jalex Herd and is sired by our stock bull Swarland Eddie. She has enjoyed a memorable show season notching up Overall titles at the Summer Spectacular in August, and most recently the Agri Expo in Carlisle just a few weeks ago.
She was a popular winner on the day with the Small family overwhelmed by the messages of support since the show. Gareth added “We are blown away by how well Khaleesi has done, and to win Smithfield is like a dream come true for us. We have spent over 20 years showing commercials, all in the hope of hitting the big time at Smithfield. We would like to sincerely thank all those involved in helping us with the heifer, and to Stephanie Dick who showed Khaleesi to perfection.”
Khaleesi later went on to sell for £9000 to Robert and Mark McGivern, who hope to show her in the 2015 season.
Leading the way in the Baby Beef section was Robert Miller, Moneymore who picked up the Supreme award here with his British Blue sired heifer “Dashing Lady”. She was brought out by youngster Luke Wilkinson who has done such a great job of handling this calf all summer. Bred by the Oliver McGowan, this exciting prospect has also notched up wins at the English Winter Fair, and Reserve at Agri Expo. The aim now is to bring Dashing Lady out next season starting with Balmoral in May.
The steer Championship was won by James Nesbitt with his Carmorn Cantona sired entry. This animal also has links to NI having been bred by William McAllister, Ballymena