The Pedigree Breeders Council of Ireland held its third annual All Star Awards in the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise, on Sunday evening, 11 February. There were 15 breed societies in attendance, with 17 awards presented on the night by IFA president Francie Gorman, who addressed the meeting by saying he values and appreciates the work that all pedigree breeders are doing.

Sixteen breed societies had the opportunity to nominate someone from their society for the All Star Award and while some chose their national show champions or sale toppers, others chose to recognise breeders for their dedication and service to their respective breeds.

These 16 awards were followed by a special lifetime service award for outgoing member of the Pedigree Breeders Council, Mervyn Eager. Speaking on this award, chairman of the Pedigree Breeders Council, Sean Sherman, told the Irish Farmers Journal: “Mervyn Eager has given many years of service to pedigree breeding in Ireland both on his own home farm in Lucan, Co Dublin, and to the IHFA. In the early 90s, Mervyn served on the board of the IHFA and became their representative on the pedigree breeders council, where he served as chairman for a number of years. Mervyn is a strong advocate of the pedigree council, unifying breed societies to continue to promote quality functional cattle. We wish Mervyn good health in his retirement.”

The awards ceremony, which is now in its third year, is growing from strength to strength and is an incredible opportunity for breed societies to both show their appreciation for and to celebrate all the good and the enjoyment that breeders are bringing to the table. The award winners were as follows.


The Irish Piedmontese Cattle Society chose Paddy Blake as their recipient for this year’s All Star Award. Paddy was chosen by the society for his lifelong service to the breed.


The Salers Cattle Society of Ireland offered its award to Catherine Minogue for her role in breed promotion. Those in attendance heard how Catherine launched into the Salers world in 2012 and of all the good work she has done in promoting the Salers breed in Ireland.

Belgian Blue

The Irish Belgian Blue Cattle Society chose to offer its award to Don Oreo, a Belgian Blue heifer from the herd of the O’Donovan family in Co Cork. In her two-year showing career, Oreo was unbeaten on the show circuit and enjoyed huge success as the supreme breed champion at the FBD National Livestock Show at the Tullamore Show and Balmoral Show in 2023.


The Irish Limousin Cattle Society selected Milbrook Nikkispice from the herd of William Smith, Co Meath, as this year’s recipient. Following on from her supreme Limousin championship at the 50th Anniversary Limousin Extravaganza Show in Carrick-on-Shannon in 2022, Nikkiespice had an exceptional year on the 2023 show circuit, which culminated in her supreme championship win at the FBD National Livestock Show in Tullamore; coincidently, this marked the 10th overall Limousin championship win for the Millbrook herd in Tullamore.

Irish Angus

The Irish Angus Cattle Society nominated its All-Ireland champion bull, Corlismore Usain Bolt, from the herd of Michael and Joe Moran from Co Kilkenny, as this year’s recipient. Usain Bolt is a very impressive HF Rebel son and was tapped forward as the All-Ireland supreme champion at the Society’s finals in Strokestown Show in September.


The Irish Charolais Cattle Society presented its award to Lisnagree Triona ET from the herd of Jim Geoghegan, Co Westmeath. Triona enjoyed massive success on the summer show circuit, where she claimed many prestigious titles, including her win as senior calf champion at the Society’s national calf show in September and overall junior champion at the Elite heifer sale, where she smashed the Irish female record going on to sell for €18,000.


The Irish Holstein Friesian Assocation nominated John and Bryan O’Connor’s Bawnmore Pepper Almeric. This classy young cow has done what no other cow has, winning the double All-Ireland junior pedigree Friesian cow in-milk at Charleville Show and the National Holstein heifer in-milk championship in Tullamore Show for two years in a row. She was also champion at this year’s IHFA All-Ireland awards.

Irish Hereford

The Irish Hereford Breed Society nominated Country Crest Rob from the herd of Gabriel Hoey as this year’s winner. Rob was crowned supreme national Hereford champion at the FBD National Livestock Show. The September 2022-born bull was sired by Lisgoahpoll 1 Oscar and picked up a number of rosettes throughout his showing career, including reserve overall champion at Country Crest local show, Fingal, in June.


The Irish Aubrac Society made the decision to present its award to the bull Deerpark Ronny, bred by James and Angela Lacey of the Deerpark Aubrac herd. Ronny was selected as a result of having the highest DBI Index (€204) both within the Aubrac breed and all other breeds.


The Irish Dexter Cattle Society was proud to present its award to breed secretary Tom McDonald from Co Tipperary, to show their appreciation for his service to the breed. Tom has been instrumental in the promotion and marketing of Dexters and Dexter beef in Ireland.


This year’s Irish Simmental Cattle Society’s award was presented to Rathnashan Pippa Harper ET from the herd of Nigel Hogan, Co Carlow. Pippa Harper enjoyed a very successful 2023 summer show season, which culminated in a hugely successful win for the Rathnashan herd at the FBD National Livestock Show, where she claimed the supreme breed championship.


The Irish Parthenaise Cattle Breed Society presented its award to society president, Anthony Scally, Ailsbury Farm, Co Westmeath. Anthony is one of the founding members of the society and was awarded for his service to the breed and for promoting the breed.


The Irish Shorthorn Cattle Society presented its award to Jimmy O’Donovan of the Gortnamona herd in Schull, Co Cork, for his many years of successful breeding of both beef and dairy Shorthorns. Jimmy has enjoyed success at shows and sales all over Ireland and the Society was proud to recognise his achievements.

Aberdeen Angus

The Irish Aberdeen Angus Association’s award was presented to new breeders John and Karl Connell from Oldcastle, Co Meath, for their heifer, Bellingham V Trish. Trish enjoyed a very successful show career last year with the Connells, where she kicked off the season with an intermediate and supreme championship title at the Irish Aberdeen Angus Association All-Ireland finals in Carrick-on-Shannon. Trish continued her winning ways, scooping championship titles at the Associations Extravaganza in Thurles in October 2023.


The Irish Blonde Cattle Society was proud to present its award to Michael Creed from Co Cork for the promotion of the Blonde breed throughout the years. The Creeds were no strangers to the show ring and enjoyed huge success on every outing. Travelling near and far to summer shows, the Creed family were worthy winners.


The Montbéliarde Cattle Society of Ireland selected Ann Fitzgerald from Co Wexford. Ann is the breed secretary for the Montbéliarde Society and was selected for this award for her years of service to the breed.