This week, Aldi Ireland, together with ABP and the Irish Angus Cattle Society, launched the 2023 Irish Angus all-Ireland championships in GVM Mart, Tullamore, Co Offaly.
The bull calf championships were first launched in 2013, with this year's championships set to mark the 10th anniversary.
Over the past 10 years, the classes have grown from strength to strength and there are now three qualifiers held at 14 different shows across the country throughout the summer months to select the bulls that go forward to compete for the highly sought after championship titles.
The 2023 finals will be held at Iverk Show in Pilltown, Co Kilkenny, on Saturday 26 August at the 196th annual event, one of Ireland’s oldest agricultural shows.
The competition, which is only open to registered members of the Irish Angus Cattle Society, boasts a staggering €31,500 prize fund, which is the most attractive prize fund for Angus cattle anywhere in the country.
The three Angus bull calf championships are supported by seven lucrative classes on the day of the finals.
There are four female classes with a combined prize fund value of €4,000 and, this year, the winner of each class advances to contest the exciting and newly introduced class ‘An Banríonn Dubh’, which boasts an additional prize fund of €1,000 in a winner-takes-all female championship.
Following on from the success of 'Tread Na hÉireann' in 2022, there is a very strong interest in the 2023 renewal and it’s expected that there will be a significant increase in the number of herds competing in the championships at Iverk Show.
A spokesperson from the Irish Angus Cattle Society added: “This is an exciting and welcome addition to the Irish Angus showing calendar and, in time, should become a much sought-after accolade for all the top Irish Angus breeders wishing to raise the profile of their herd.”
Irish Angus Cattle Society co-ordinator of the event Michael Flanagan said: “Since its inception, the success of the championships has come down to four priceless components - the continued generous sponsorship received from Aldi Ireland, the support received from the Irish Angus Cattle Society and ABP, as well as the Irish Angus breeders who show their stock at the qualifiers and present them for judging in the championship finals.
"Finally, the Iverk Show cattle committee, who ensure that year after year the show ring and its surrounds are impeccably presented on the day.“
Junior stockperson of the year competition
The Aldi-sponsored junior stockperson of the year and the young handler competition have firmly established themselves as very important features of the show and the excitement generated by their inclusion makes a huge contribution to the atmosphere around the show ring on finals day.
Boasting an eye-catching first prize of €1,000, the Aldi YDP junior stockperson of the year is now firmly established on the Irish Angus calendar and following on from the three regional qualifiers to be held in Charleville, Longford and Bonniconlon, nine boys and girls aged between 13 and 17 will congregate at Iverk Show to fight it out for the lucrative first prize.
The finalists are judged on five disciplines, including sustainability, knowledge of the breed, stock judging, animal preparation for showing and ring showmanship.
The competition’s aim is to improve the participants’ personal development and knowledge of all that preparing and presenting stock in a show ring entails.
Speaking at the launch of the 2023 event, buying director at Aldi Ireland Rob Farrell said: “We are delighted to kick off the 2023 young stockperson of the year competition.
"We’re looking forward to meeting Ireland’s young farming talent and budding stockpersons from across the country for what promises to be another exciting competition this year.
"Furthermore, we are proud to continue our support for the Angus cattle competition at Iverk Show. Throughout our business, we work closely with Irish farmers and food producers, including through our long association with ABP Foods, and we’re always looking to support the next generation of exceptional Irish farmers.”