The Irish Charolais cattle society hosted its national calf show in Elphin last weekend, attracting a bumper entry of 170 calves.

With a number of COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the event was an all ticket affair, with only 250 spectators allowed to view stock. To allow for further viewing for those not able to get a ticket, the show was also streamed online.

Viewers could view both the male and female rings, with onlookers from eight different countries tuning in.

One such country was France, where the breed originated and home to the day’s two judges. Making the journey across to Ireland were Hugo Retailleau and Dominique Loulergue. These judges came with vast experience having judged in countries all over the world as well, as the main Paris show in France.

Goldstar success

The two made short work going through the classes, complementing the tremendous quality on show before tapping out their champions. In total four championships were awarded for both junior and senior male and female. Taking home two of these four championships was well-known breeder Martin Ryan who alongside his family run the successful Goldstar Charolais herd outside Thurles in Co Tipperary.

First tapped out was the junior male calf champion Goldstar Samson. This January-born bull calf is French-bred on both sides, with his sire the imported stock bull in the Ballym herd, Mylove, and his dam by Majestueux.

Senior female calf champion Goldstar Ramona. \ Alfie Shaw

Shortly after this, it was the turn of the senior female calf championship. Here Ryan’s September 2020-born Goldstar Ramona ET secured the top spot. This daughter of Goldstar Othello is out of Major daughter Goldstar Edelwiss. Interestingly, her two full ET sisters placed second and third in the same class.

Not stopping there the Goldstar team also took the reserve senior male calf championship with Goldstar Rolex. This September 2020-born ET bull is sired by Goldstar Gentleman with his dam Caramel daughter Goldstar Elle.

Senior male calf champion Drumcullen Royal. \ Alfie Shaw

Standing one better in this championship and taking the title of overall senior male calf champion was Drumcullen Royal. Bred and exhibited by Offaly-based John Fleury, Royal is a son of Solitude Narcos and the home-bred Vexour Granville daughter Drumcullen Isobel.

Taking the reserve junior male championship was Ballylannon Santa. This January-born Caherobert Anthony-sired bull was brought out by Donegal native Patrick McLaughlin.

Female champions

Back to the females and it was Kieran Doddy from Co Sligo who secured the overall championship in the junior section with Tubbernadur Sansa. This eight-month-old heifer is sired by Goldstar Hugo 2 and out of a Heracles-bred dam.

Junior female calf champion Tubbernadur Sansa. \ Alfie Shaw

Taking the reserve spot in this championship was Ardabrone Sarah. This ET daughter of Pirate is out of former show heifer Ardabrone Molly. Sarah was bred and exhibited by fellow Sligo breeder Karl Kelly.

Reserve junior female calf champion Ardabrone Sarah. \ Alfie Shaw

Last of the championship honours was the reserve senior title which was secured by Limkiln Rene. This Horace daughter was out of a Fury Action bred dam and brought out by Clare breeder Richard Hackett.

Reserve senior female calf champion Limkiln Rene. \ Alfie Shaw

Long journey

Making the 800km round trip a worthwhile one was Bantry, Co Cork, breeder John Ward who took pole position in the pairs class along with a first in a junior bull class. Taking the pairs championship was Colomane Rihanna and Colomane Rachel. These ET sisters were sired by Texan Gie and out of home-bred Doonally New daughter Colomane Olivia. Ward’s first prize-winning bull was Goldstar Echo's son Colomane Spartacus.

Young handlers

In the young handler competition, Sligo based Aiden Moran took top spot in the 12-16 year age category while the senior section for handlers aged 17-22 was won by Roscrea breeder Megan Searson.

Reserve junior male calf champion Ballylannon Santa. \ Alfie Shaw

Other class winners:

In the bull born mid-October to mid-November Grangwood Royal Oak took the red ribbon. This Goldstar Echo son was bred by J&K O’Keeffe, Co Limerick.

The next class of bulls was those born mid-November to mid-December. This was won by Tonyglasson Rudolph by Newhouse Bigal and bred by Martin Hughes, Co Cavan.

Moving to the mid-February-born class and Crossane4 Supreme took the plaudits. This Doonally New son was brought out by Eoin McGovern, Co Leitrim.

Last of the bull classes for claves born after mid-March was won by Crockaun Sibin. This Hortensia sired calf was exhibited by Beradette Dunne from the Curragh in Co Kildare.

In the female section, Goldstar Roseanne collected another red rosette for the Ryan team. This Goldstar Hugo 2 daughter is out of a Texan Gie-bred dam.

Major daughter Ballinroey Ruby won the next class up. She was bred by Longford breeder Michael Hanlon.

In the mid-January to mid-February heifer class Macecrump Siobhan came out on top. This Doonally New daughter was the property of John Lally, Belmullet, Co Mayo.

Woodhead Serenity from Donegal breeder Andrew Walker was also a red ticket holder come the close of the day. This March-born calf was sired by Ballym Niall.

Last class was the youngest heifer class which was won by Crockaun Siochain, again bred by Bernadette Dunne.