Killens Livestock Preparation - A Blues Master Class
John Killen with daughters Shauna and Katrina gave a memorable master class in preparing show cattle at the British Blue young handlers workshop hosted by Jack Morrison and family at Armoy on Saturday 15th September 2018.
Almost 40 beef cattle enthusiasts attended this free workshop for young handlers sponsored by the Bank of Ireland.
The emphasis was on practical skills with John Killen preparing two bulls from the Morrison family's Chatham British Blue Herd for the tri-breed sale in Dungannon Mart on Friday, Oct ober 5. A show and sale attracting nine British Blues, two heifers and seven bulls, plus Blonde and Simmental stock from leading herds.
An event not to be missed given that the following Blue Society sale in NI is not until next March.
Tutor for the Armoy training day, John Killen from Crossgar, Co Down is a 'livestock man' through and through with an interest in pedigree and commercial Charolais, Limousin and British Blue cattle.
After their father had shown how to clip to perfection bulls heading for the sale ring daughters Shauna and Katrina gave an equally impressive class on how to wash, apply soap and correctly lead cattle to display them to their full potential.
The Killen family remarking how docile Blue cattle are to work with compared to some of the commercial stock with which they have enjoyed many years of showing success.
The Saturday event, just weeks ahead of the autumn bull sales, also featured a most useful discussion on livestock handling over an impressive lunch. The day concluding with a viewing of the entire Chatham herd at grass. One of the oldest British Blue herds in NI and one of the most respected in the entire UK.
Commenting Basil Dougherty of Kircubbin, as NI Blue Cattle Club chairman, praised the Morrison and Killen families for their generous help in organising the event.
“Both the Blue Society and the NI Club are encouraging the coming generation to become fully involved in the ups and downs of pedigree breeding and exhibiting.
The enthusiasm and enterprise of these young people helps galvanise us all in the NI Club to come out and compete in the show ring.
“There is a sheer joy in exhibiting prime livestock, not least from the Blue breed with its unrivalled ability as a terminal sire to upgrade progeny from dairy and suckler herds alike.
At the young handlers event in Armoy and at events year round British Blue breeders give a warm welcome to the next generation. They are the future of a breed that can give beef producers a bonus with every calf.”