Days Gone: Simmental carcass show is ‘biggest’ ever

The show was organized by the Lagan Meat Company, in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Simmental Cattle Club, the Livestock Marketing Commission and Allied Irish Banks.

Mr Eric Cuttle, Managing Director of Lagan Meat, said the show attracted 94 entries of prime Simmental cattle from across Northern Ireland.

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Pictured March 1981, Mr Robert Gallagher, left, Londonderry, receives the Simmental Carcass Championship check from Mr John Kelly of Allied Irish Banks. Photo: Farming Life Archive/News Letter

He pointed out that 48 of the cattle were graded A2, the highest grade, and the other 46 were graded three, the second highest.

Commenting on the excellent carcass quality, Mr Cuttle referred to the growing popularity of the Simmental breed. The buying commission, which traveled to Germany in 1970 to buy the first import, did a great service to cattle improvement in Northern Ireland, he said.

Dairy farmers were increasingly buying Simmental bulls for the Friesian herds, he noted, which produced “excellent quality beef calves, with easy calving a characteristic of the breed.”

Mr Cuttle expressed his thanks to the French judge, Mr Bernard Michele, who judged the steers, as well as Mr Sam Richardson of the Belfast Co-Operative, and Mr Joe McAloon of the Department of Agriculture, who judged the class of heifers.

Pictured in March 1981, looking at quality Simmental carcasses at a Belfast meat factory, Mr Eric Cuttle, third, left, Managing Director of the Lagan Meat Company, with, left to right, Mr David Cuttle , Mr. Campbell Tweed, Mr. Robert McBride, Secretary of the Northern Ireland Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club, and Mr. David Perry, President. Photo: Farming Life Archive/News Letter

Mr David Perry, chairman of the Northern Ireland Simmental Cattle Club, endorsed the tributes and praised Mr Cuttle and his trustees for “the efficient management of the competition”.

He said: “The carcass competition is getting better and better. The quality is truly exceptional and the exhibitors are to be commended for producing such excellent animals.

WINNER OF THE SUPREME CHAMPIONSHIP

Mr John Kelly, Allied Irish Banks, presenting a sponsorship check in March 1981 to Mr David Perry, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Simmental Breeders™ Club. Photo: Farming Life Archive/News Letter

For the second year in a row, Mr Robert Gallagher of Springfield Road, Londonderry, has won the Supreme Championship at the Simmental Carcass Show in Belfast.

The two-and-a-half-year-old champion bull weighed in at 427 kilos deadweight and came in at £700, plus £150 in prize money, making a total of £850.

Most of the best carcasses were 163p a kilo.

The reserve champion steer, also two and a half years old, came from Mr John Loughery of Limavady. It weighed 389 kilos deadweight, £552, plus £100 in prize money, a total of £652.

Pictured March 1981, Mr John Loghery of Limavady, Co Londonderry, had the Reserve Simmental Champion Carcass in the Simmental Carcass Championship. Photo: Farming Life Archive/News Letter

The heaviest carcass was a two-year-old, nine-month-old steer, which took second prize, winning £861, plus £25 in prize money, a total of £886.

The winning carcass in the heifer class was of excellent quality, Farming Life noted. She was exhibited by Mr Robert Taylor of Ballinderry, she weighed 305 kilos, fetching £494, plus £50 prize money, a total of £544, “and the heifer was only 18 months old”.

The heifer was sired by the famous Camus Dandy, who had an outstanding show career with Mr. Eric Cuttle, who won a long list of breed championships.

The French meat expert, Mr. Bernard Michele, who judged the Simmental carcasses, was very impressed with the high quality of the Simmentals.

Pictured in March 1981, Carcass Judge Mr Bernard Michele, centre, of France, with Mr Sam Richardson, Belfast Co-Operative, and Mrs Joe McAloon of the Department of Agriculture. Photo: Farming Life Archive/News Letter

The quality, he said, was higher than in 1980, when he found it much easier to select a champion. This time, the first four or five had been difficult to decide. The champion, however, had the advantage, with the reserve a close second.

Mr. Michele was impressed with the conformation and leanness of the carcasses which he said were ideal for the French market.

“They are far superior to the regular carcass,” he told Farming Life after his final selections.

Of the supreme champion, he said: “In weight, conformation, leanness and tenderness, he would be ranked in the French classification as a superior grade. The next one is much lighter and better suited to the English market.

Overall, he summed up, “An excellent show of quality beef.”

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