The Irish Farmers Journal, the Irish Shows Association and FBD have partnered once again to launch the 2024 all-Ireland young stockperson competition.

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 2024 and take home their share in a €5,000 prize fund.

The competition, which has gone from strength to strength in the last three years, will this year hold the all-Ireland finals in Tullow Show, Co Carlow, on Sunday 18 August.

To get to the final of the competition, participants firstly need to qualify at one of number of qualifiers taken place at local shows during the summer up and down the country. The first of these qualifying events will take place at local shows in June.

The competition is 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, stockjudging and personal presentation.

A total of 10 qualified participants in each section will then go forward to the final with a total of 30 attending the overall finals in Tullow Show on Sunday 18 August. Here, a more intense judging process will take place, but participants will also be judged on the initial qualifying criteria.

The champion handler in the junior division will walk away with a cheque for €500, while second and third receiving €300 and €150, respectively.

The 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.

The age on 1 August will determine the class that each competitor enters, with junior and intermediate classes asked to exhibit a beef-sired calf born from 1 September 2023 to 30 April 2024.

Senior entries can exhibit any beef animal born after 1 January 2023.

So, dust off the white coats and the halters – it’s time to get training for the 2024 show season.

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