Mingle with Moilies 2017 - Irish Moiled Cattle Society

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Mingle with Moilies 2017


Mingle with the Moilies 2017

On sat 8th July 2017 the second ever Mingle with the Moiles event was held at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (UFTM) at Cultra, Holywood in conjunction with the Irish Moiled Cattle Society’s (IMCS) Open Day for members and the Society’s AGM. This biannual event proved yet again a great success, a fantastic Open Day for Society members and a great way of educating the general public about Northern Irelands only native cattle breed.

The day got off to a start with the judging of the cattle classes which were judged by a trio of judges, one judge from each of the 3 constituencies that the Society represents. From the GB constituency it was Philip Mellor from York owner of the Dilhorne herd of Irish Moiled’s, from N.I it was Albert Baxter from Newtownstewart owner of the Beauty Hill herd and from the ROI it was Trevor Chadwick from Portlaoise, Chairman of the cattle section of Tullamore Show that had the honour of judging the cattle classes. Linda Davis of Templepatrick was chief cattle steward for the day, whilst Maggie Mc Quiston from the Brigadoon Charolais herd did the commentary. All the cattle class rosettes were sponsored by Lough Bishop Guest House, Co. Westmeath.

Taking top honours of the Overall Supreme Championship was Cultra Lorraine (Senior Heifer) who returned for the day to her ‘home turf’, where she was born and reared, now under the ownership of Robert Boyle of Millisle. This was a very popular win making Robert Berry, farm manager of the UFTM a very proud breeder. In Reserve spot was the cow and calf outfit from N & M Moilies from Comber with the young cow, Curraghnakeely Sylvia with her 6-month old bull calf at foot, Curraghnakeely Captain Cook. The Championship prize money was sponsored by Pheasant Hill Farm shop, Downpatrick.

The first class up was the cow class sponsored by Massey’s Butchers, Saintfield. This class was tightly contested with 3 young typically coloured cows. It was the 2nd calved cow, Curraghnakeely Sylvia with a 6-month old bull calf at foot from N & M Moilies of Comber that was pulled into 1st place. In 2nd place it was Milltown Pink Lady owned by Robert Boyle of Millisle, bred by Tommy Jackson of Saintfield with a 4-month old bull calf at foot.  In 3rd place it was was the youngest cow of the class, Ballyvesey Iontas from Robert Davis of Templepatrick with her 1st calf, a 2-month old heifer calf at foot.

The heifer class sponsored by Corrie’s Butchers, Holywood was the largest class of the day with 7 heifers in total, which was made up of 3 one-year-old heifers and 4 two-year-old heifers. It was the 4 senior heifers that took the 4 top spots with Cultra Lorraine owned by Robert Boyle coming in as the clear winner of the class.  2nd place went to Brian O’Kane from Martinstown with his homebred Ravelglen Emerald heifer.  3rd place went to Stewart Donaldson of The Ark Open Farm, Newtownards with his homebred heifer Donardgrange Nigella whilst 4th place went to Milltown Ann also owned by Robert Boyle and in 5th place was N & M Moilies with the young Curraghnakeely Daisy.

The third class was the calf class sponsored by Angus Butchers, Greyabbey. Walking away with 1st place was Brian O’Kane with his young bull calf Ravelglen Rocky. 2nd place went to N & M Moilies with Curraghnakeely Captain Cook.  3rd Place went to Robert Boyle with Beechmount Sam whilst 4th place also went to Brian O’Kane with Ravelglen Christy and 5th place was won by R & L Davis with Ballyvesey Gillian.

During the grand cattle parade of prize winners, the judging of the Best Traditionally Dressed Cattle Handler took place, which proved to be the one of the most photographed events of the Mingle with the Moilies Open Day. It was Robert Berry, farm manager of the UFTM that had the task of judging this tightly contested competition. Authenticity was the key to success and it was Mary Forsythe of Portglenone winner of the adult section, and Roisin O’Kane of Martinstown winner of the junior section that were the outright winners of their section wearing original garments and accessories which captured the traditional era perfectly. First prize in these two classes were kindly sponsored by The White Bicycle and Robert Berry. Second prize in both the adult and junior section of the competition was won by grandfather and grandson Robert Boyle and Cole Hogg and these prizes were kindly sponsored by Cow Share and Fane Valley. Third prize in the Adult and Junior section went to Nigel Edwards and Alec Armour respectively and these prizes were kindly sponsored by The White Bicycle and Sam McConnell Agricultural Merchant. A big thanks to all those who came dressed to impress, it is all about fun and having a good time and it certainly added to the atmosphere of the day.


The IMCS has a well-known reputation of encouraging youngsters to become involved in the breed and the Society endeavours to help teach youngsters about showing and handling cattle. Enlisting Maggie Mc Quiston from the famous Brigadoon Charolais herd who is one of the most inspiring people in the show world especially with young handlers, to run the young handlers workshop at the Mingle of the Moilies Open Day proved to be very beneficial for the youngsters in learning about showmanship and correct ring craft which they demonstrated during the Young Handlers Competition afterwards. Also Eammon Mc Garry from Crumlin who runs the professional Cattle Grooming Service was at hand and did several workshops during the day demonstrating how to clip a Moilie in preparation for a show. These workshops that Eammon ran were very educational for both the young and old.

Congratulations to all the participants who took part in the workshops and the Young Handler competition with a special mention going to John Smiley of Ballynahinch in winning Champion Young Handler and to Kirsten Davies of Templepatrick in winning Reserve Champion Young Handler. Thanks goes to The Ark Open Farm, Newtownards for sponsoring the prize money for the Young Handlers.

The late Brian Burnett was a great supporter of the IMCS, and he especially enjoyed attending events held at the UFTM. Brian donated money on a regular basis to the Society and he wanted the donations to be used to encourage Young Handlers within the breed as he himself never got opportunities when he was a child. Michele and Brian Brane from the United States who had built up a friendship with Brian contacted the Society recently as they wanted to do something in Brian’s memory, sending a generous donation to be used towards a cup in Brian Burnett’s memory. It seemed very fitting to present this cup at Cultra one of Brian’s favourite places, John Smiley being the first winner of ‘The Brian Burnett’s Perpetual Trophy for Best Young Handler’.

Robert Davis, a NI Director of the IMCS along with his wife Linda and their kids run Laurelview Equestrian Centre and the Ballyvesey herd of Irish Moiled cattle. They have all many years of experience working with both cattle and horses. In the afternoon, spectators were treated to a new and unique performance with Robert giving a dressage type display riding one of his own Pedigree Ballyvesey Irish Moiled cows on the cattle lawn.

Councillor Robert Adair, the Mayor of Ards and North Down and James Speers, the President of the Young Farmers Club of Ulster, both took time out of their busy schedules to make Guest appearances and have a taste of tradition at the Open Day. If it wasn’t ‘Moilie moves’ on the dance floor they were trying out it was ‘Moilie hooves’ on the cattle lawn, they both certainly mingled with the Moilies. It was James Speers that was given the job of judging the the jiving session in the afternoon when he picked 5 finalist pairs to receive the prizes up for grabs; Robert and Linda Davis won 2 tickets for Bannow and Rathangan Show, Zara and Kirsten Davis won 2 tickets for Tullamore Show, Leah Steele and Kimberly Johnston won 2 tickets for Castlewellan Show, Grace Steele and Abigail Johnston won 2 tickets for Randox Antrim Show and Lucy Steele and Maggie McQuiston won a selection of chocolates.

Also in special attendance on the day was Chef, Aoife Clayton from Belfast, who cooked over an open hearth fire with a cast iron pan delivering a mouth-watering starter and main course dish that had depth and rustic flavours and she certainly showcased Irish Moilie Beef to its very best at the Open Day cooking for the main course a Korean Bar B Que Bulgogi (A La Moilie) with lettuce wraps, sticky rice and an array of homemade Kimchis.  Special thanks to Ulster Farmers Union, Crumlin and Johanna Montgomery Designs and to all the Sponsors mentioned who have supported the event.

There was something of interest for just about everyone at the Open Day, in- between the cattle exhibitions on the cattle lawn, visitors got the opportunity to investigate the beautiful setting of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Also participating in the Open Day were craft stands which certainly enticed the passer-by into the marquee with their display of unique hand crafted or handmade products which were beautifully different. Also in the Marquee there was the Irish Moiled breed stand with information leaflets on the breed, a fantastic display of photographs and merchandise on show which created a busy time for Alison Jackson the Society Merchandise Officer.  Alison Boyle also provided funky fun for the kids with face painting, tattoos and colouring in. Kids also had the opportunity to hand milk a Moilie cow with no risk of getting a kick thanks to the lend of a life size Moilie model cow from the Ark Open Farm in Newtownards. Throughout the day visitors were educated on the health benefits of locally reared grass fed Irish Moilie Beef, and after watching the mouth-watering dishes being cooked using Irish Moilie Beef it was no wonder that the meat stall of Tully Farm owned by Mary and Wilbert Forsythe were completely sold out by the end of the day. Farm Families Health Check Mobile gave free on-the-spot health checks.  

Society Chairman Robert Boyle paid special thanks to everyone who had took part, The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra for hosting the event, to all the sponsors, Judges, exhibitors and especially Breed Secretary Gillian Steele and Robert Berry Farm Manager of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum  for all their hard work in co-ordinating the Open Day.

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