Breed judges from throughout the UK and Ireland were unanimous in their praise for the Pedigree Calf Fair and Beef NI Expo, held at the Balmoral Showgrounds in Belfast on Saturday
Speaking after the one-day show, which featured three show rings and 10 native and continental beef breeds, event organiser and Chairman, David Connolly said:  “It’s been another fantastic event, and we certainly exceeded our strap-line ‘Bigger and Better’.
“The 2016 show has surpassed last year’s inaugural event, attracting hundreds of spectators and more than 80 trade exhibits. Cattle entries were on a par with last year, and the judges were all impressed with the quality of the calves and the high level of stockmanship.
“Our judges have been busy throughout the day, and all were in agreement that the show provides a platform for the province’s pedigree beef champions of tomorrow. Many of last year’s winners went on to achieve top accolades and command high prices at local and national shows and sales. I have no doubt that many of this year’s prize winners will follow in their footsteps.”
David Connolly continued: “One of the highlights of the day was seeing 40 of the country’s best calves enter the show ring for the grand parade. This was a spectacular sight to round-off another successful show. Shows are a shop window for our pedigree livestock.
Full results and photos of the Calf Fair in next week’s Impartial Reporter.
 and the success of the event confirms that there is a need for a multi-breed beef show at this time of year. “
French judge Laurent Antignac was impressed with the professionalism of the young showmanship competitors. “They are a credit to Northern Ireland,” he commented.
While many eyes were firmly fixed on the various breed classes, the overarching theme for the event was Beef Strategy 2020. Several keynote speakers took to the stage to deliver short presentations aimed at helping farmers to encompass the breeding, nutrition and health needs of the industry.
The seminar sessions included short presentations by Dr Francis Lively, AFBI; William Minchin, MSD Animal Health; and Paul Elwood, HVS Animal Health. The Ulster Farmers’ Union also used the opportunity to discuss the implications for local farmers post Brexit.
Visitors to the one-day show enjoyed browsing the variety of trade stands on display, with many welcoming the various discounts and show deals that were on offer throughout the day.