The Irish Farmers Journal, Irish Shows Association and FBD have this year launched a brand new all-Ireland championship for young stock people.
The competition aims to bring out the best young cattle people in the business to compete for the coveted title of all-Ireland young stockperson of the year and take home their share in a €5,000 prize fund.
Last year, with young people at home due to lockdown, the farmyard and livestock became a break from the new normal. Calves were trained and worked with nowhere to go. This year kicked off with high hopes and again many calves got trained for the 2021 circuit, but, again, this wasn’t to be.
The Irish Farmers Journal, Irish Shows Association and FBD all recognised this and understand the importance of the younger generation for the future of the sector, thus the 2021 all-Ireland young stockperson championship was born.
To get to the final of the competition, participants firstly need to qualify at one of two qualifiers. The two championship qualifiers will take place in Roscrea and Elphin marts, with the overall final taking place in Tullamore Mart. These two qualifiers will take place on Sunday 1 August in Roscrea and bank holiday Monday 2 August in Elphin.
The competition will be broken up into three age categories for eight- to 12-year-olds, 13- to 17-year-olds and 18- to 25-year-olds. All three classes will be judged on the participant’s ability to handle and present the animal to its best advantage, general knowledge of the animal, stock judging and personal presentation.
A total of five participants will then go forward from each class at every qualifier, with a total of 30 attending the overall finals in Tullamore Mart on 28 August. Here, a more intense judging process will take place, but participants will also be judged on the initial qualifying criteria.
Champion handler in the junior division will walk away with a cheque for €500, while second and third receive €300 and €150 respectively.
Intermediate champion handler will receive €750, with €500 for second place and €200 for third. Finally, the champion senior handler will secure a prize of €1,000, with €500 for second and €200 for third. All participants who qualify for the finals who are not in the top three will receive €50 along with a rosette
Both qualifying events will include talks from recognised industry experts, covering a range of topics from safety at shows to best animal handling practise and animal nutrition.
Registering for the event can be done through the Irish Shows Association website, so that each qualifier can be altered to in advance to work around the Covid-19 regulations at the time.
As part of this registration process, competitors will be asked to upload a headshot, age, address and a bit about the animal they are showing.
Age on 1 August will determine the class each competitor enters, with junior and intermediate classes asked to exhibit a beef-sired calf born from 1 December 2020 to 30 April 2021. Senior entries can exhibit any beef animal born after 1 January 2020.
Entries for all sections open on Monday 12 July and close on Monday 26 July.
So dust off the white coats – it’s time to get back showing. For full details, check out www.irishshows.org and www.farmersjournal.ie.