Ireland takes third place at European Holstein Championships
Rachel Corley along with Claire Kirby sealed a third place for Ireland at the European Holstein Championships in Libramont, Belgium.

Two Irish Holstein breeders travelled to Belgium to representing Ireland at the European Holstein Championships in the clipping and showmanship classes on 13 April.

Rachel Corley, a Holstein breeder from Smithborough, Co Monaghan, was the youngest contestant at the competition at only 18 years old and was joined by her Kerry-Cork border teammate Claire Kirby.


  • Rachel placed second in class.
  • Claire placed 10th in class.
  • Showmanship

  • Rachel placed third in class.
  • Claire placed second in class.
  • Claire Kirby, fifth overall at the European Holstein Championships.

    Rachel came third overall while Claire claimed fifth place. After this strong performance from the two Irish breeders, Ireland was awarded third place overall out of 19 countries taking part in the championships.

    Hereford takes interbreed at Bandon show
    The Cork summer show circuit got under way over the weekend with Bandon kicking off proceedings.

    Bandon show over the weekend got the first of the Cork summer shows under way, with the Hereford breed taking the interbreed championship.

    Taking the top position was the four-year-old Kilsunny Lass Lily from Trevor Dudley, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

    Hereford champion Kilsunny Lass Lily exhibited by Edward Dudly with judge John Neenan.

    This cow is no stranger to success having secured a red rosette at two Hereford national finals. Sire behind the champion is herd stock bull Glaslough Judge.

    Standing as reserve interbreed champion and overall Charolais champion was Ballybrown Nugget.

    Charolais champion Ballybrown Nugget.
    This two-year-old heifer was shown by Bobby O’Connell, Clarina, Co Limerick. Sire behind the well-built heifer is Jollescesar while the dam is Emergude.


    One of the most anticipated classes of the day was the Bandon Co-op county super commercial young heifer class. This class brought exhibitors from all corners of the country including Carlow, Meath, Westmeath and Galway.

    Bandon Co-op super beef heifer champion Brocca Nicki Minaj exhibited by Kevina O'Connell, with sponsor Ger Brickley and owner John Barry Moran.

    A tough decision in a strong lineup of cattle, judge Seamus Neary tapped forward Brocca Nicki Minaj as the overall champion. This rising two-year-old heifer from John Barry Moran, Athlone, is sired by the Belgian Blue bull Imperial while the dam is a Blonde d’Aquitaine cross. Not much between them, Seamus’s choice for reserve was the January 2018-born heifer Coco from the Connell brothers, Oldcastle, Co Meath. This heifer is by Limousin bull Gaurds Boomer and out of a Belgian Blue cross cow.

    In the Angus ring, Albert de Cogan was back on form securing the overall championship with his senior stock bull Cheeklaw Jake Eric.

    Angus champion Cheeklaw Jake Eric exhibited by Albert De Cogan with Derek Lovell presenting the champion cup.

    This bull was purchased at Stirling two years ago for 10,000gns and has won a number of championships since.

    Top placing in the Limousin ring went to Tim McCarthy with Gaberial Natalie ET. This August 2018-born heifer is a daughter of Ampertaine Gigolo and Harret.

    The Cotter family from Dripsey were out in force in the Simmental ring with their young bull Dripsey King of Hearts taking overall champion.

    Simmental champion Dripsey King of Hearts from the Cotter family.

    This September 2018-born bull is sired by Kilbride Farm Delboy with the dam Knockane Sweetheart.

    The local Stanley family took top position in a strong show of Belgian Blue cattle.

    Belgian Blue champion Brownview Lamborghini.

    Their two-year-old bull Brownview Lamborghini was the pick of Seamus Neary. Sired by Mannequin, he took both the male and overall championships.


    In the dairy rings, Ricky Barrett got his show season off to a good start taking the overall championship with Laurelelm Ross Shamrock. This EX94 classified nine-year-old cow is sired by Plain Durham Ross while the dam is homebred Laurelelm Scotty Shamrock. This tank of a cow secured first place in the protein cow class before being tapped forward by judge Tom Kelly as overall champion.

    20,000gns Blue heads to Ireland
    The top-priced animal at Carlisle last week found a new home in Ireland.

    The premier Belgian Blue sale took place in Carlisle over the weekend, with the top-priced animal heading to Irish soil. Sale-leader Almeley Lightning ET hit the market at 20,000gns and was knocked down to the Irish-based Oak Grange Estate.

    Bred and exhibited by Graham Morgan, the stylish first-prizewinner is sired by the herd’s stock bull Drybarrows Cawdale. The August 2016-born bull’s dam is the Irish-bred Rosemount Faith, making Lightning a maternal brother to the 2017 Royal Welsh champion Pinnacle Hero.

    This was the top of an exceptional day for the breed, with 52 bulls selling to represent an 85% clearance at an average price just shy of £6,000.

    Selling for 16,000gns was the junior male and reserve overall champion Dragon Blues Mike. This June 2017-born bull is by Phenomene de Martinpre and out of Dragon Blues Hazel. Similar to the champion, this bull was mainly black and was keenly sought after. After back and forth bidding, the junior champion was knocked down to DJ Lloyd & Co.

    It was a highly successful day out for the Dragon herd, who also secured the senior and overall male champion with Dragon Blues Mark ET. This May 2017-born bull is sired by Joujou De Petit Brin and is out of the homebred dam Dragon Blues Kelly. Mark was secured by Messrs Fowlie for the third-top price of 15,000gns.

    In the female ring, the well-known Solway herd took all the plaudits, securing the two top female prices, as well as the female championship.

    Securing the day’s top female price of 8,000gns was Solway View Nancy ET, an April 2018-born daughter of Attribut Du Fond De Bois.

    Not far behind and taking home a price of 6,000gns plus the female championship was Solway View Nesha ET. This June 2018-born heifer is a full flush sister to the sale-topper and is entered for next month’s Royal Highland Show.

    Win a ewe back for round two
    The highly successful win a Texel ewe competition is back for a second year.

    The Irish Texel Sheep Society, in association with the Irish Farmers Journal, is delighted to launch the second annual online competition aimed at young sheep farmers.

    The competition will be broken up into two age categories – 16 and under, and 17 to 23 years (depending on number of entries).

    The prizes for each group are vouchers to spend at the Irish Texel premier sale (vouchers are non-transferable and have to be redeemed in person).

    The sale takes place on 9 and 10 August in Blessington, Co Wicklow, where there will be more than 300 sheep to choose from. First prize gets a €300 voucher, with €200 for second and €100 for third.

    The overall winner of the competition will also win a double five-star pedigree Texel ewe on 8 June at the National Sheep Breeders Association championships in Cillin Hill Mart, Kilkenny.

    To enter the competition, entrants, who must be under the age of 23, just have to upload a short video to Facebook saying why they enjoy sheep farming and why they should win a pedigree Texel ewe.

    When uploading, please tag the Irish Texel Sheep Society and the Irish Farmers Journal.

    Twenty per cent of the overall marks will be for the amount of likes each video gets, while the remaining 80% will be for the content. The top few will then be asked to attend the final held on 8 June, where successful candidates will undergo a short interview.

    Following the announcement of the winners, each section winner will be featured in the Irish Farmers Journal.

    Check out the Irish Farmers Journal and Irish Texel Sheep Society Facebook pages for more information.

    Please note all previous first-prizewinners of the competition are excluded from entry for 2019.