The inaugural Aldi Irish Angus Bull Championship was launched in 2013 to promote and reward the breeding of quality bulls by members of the Irish Angus Cattle Society.
There was one class for bulls born between 1 September 2012 and 31 December 2012 with a prize fund of €11,000 on offer to breeders, making it the largest prize fund in Europe for a class of its kind.
Such was its success, the three sponsors (Aldi ,ABP and The Irish Angus Cattle Society (IACS)) decided to extend the championship to initially cover two age groups and later three age groups (August-October; November–January; February-April)
The championships have been hosted by The Iverk Show in Piltown (Ireland’s Oldest Agricultural Show) since 2013 and the show committee together with the event coordinator Michael Flanagan (IACS) ensure the finals are held in a fashion and at a venue that is in keeping with the quality of Irish Angus bulls being presented in front of the judges by the breeders and exhibitors.
There are 14 shows across Connacht, Leinster and Munster designated to hold qualifiers, with six places in the finals available to breeders and exhibitors across the three age groups. This will lead to 84 of the best young Irish Angus bulls in the country eligible to participate in the finals at the Iverk Show in August.
Each qualifier will automatically receive €250 upon presentation in the ring at Iverk and there is a combined winners prize of €5,000 out of a total prize fund of €27,000 available across the three age categories for the Irish Angus breeders and exhibitors present on the day with their bulls.
Aldi has confirmed a three-year sponsorship deal, taking the championships to 2024.
Tread na hEireann
A new competition has been designed to acknowledge and reward herd owners who are continuously trying to improve the quality of animals within their respective herds.
It aims to celebrate owners who breed quality bulls and heifers from quality dams and recognise the importance of breeding the appropriate sires best suited to dams to produce bulls that will best serve the Irish Angus breed, the ongoing demand for quality Irish Angus bulls by commercial dairy herds across the country and produce quality beef that will retain all the hallmark organoleptic characteristics associated throughout the world with the Irish Angus breed.
Participating entries will consist of a mature cow, a heifer under 30 months and a bull or heifer calf born after 1 August 2021.
There will be 10 qualifiers across the country with a minimum prize fund of €3,000 and up to 10 groups of animals will participate in the final at the Iverk Show.
There will also be supporting classes at the show in which each of the units can compete individually.
Young stockperson of the year
The inaugural Aldi young stockperson of the year was held at the Iverk Show in August 2019 where nine finalists competed for what is the most prestigious young handler competition in Europe, boasting a prize fund of €3,000. This competition is sponsored by Aldi and is open to male and female young handlers between the ages of 13 and 17.
Three young handlers are selected from three qualifiers held in Leinster, Munster and Connacht. The qualifying rounds are special events for young handlers to determine their ability to prepare and show their animal to the highest standards.
Each participant who qualifies then has to prepare for the final in Iverk in August. The final event captures the overall skill and dedication of the young stockperson.
They are given a set time to prepare, groom and show their animal in a professional manner while being examined on general knowledge of the Irish Angus breed, the characteristics of the breed, environmental concerns and finally demonstrating outstanding skills and show etiquette on the day.
The participants are also marked on health and safety and their ability to judge a class of animals and line them up in the correct order.