The commercial cattle section is a highlight at almost every agricultural show in the country, but the commercial cattle rings at this year’s FBD National Show was something only dreams could be made of for organisers.
Standing four people deep at the ringside on occasion, spectators and cattle enthusiasts flocked to witness the hotly contested commercial cattle classes, which boasted a massive and record breaking 365 entries from all over Ireland.
The classes saw Sharon Rothwell from Tinahely, Co Wicklow, judge the senior cattle; Mike Hannon from Kilfinny, Co Limerick, take on the calves; and Trudi McLoughlan from Carndonagh, Co Donegal, judge the sections.
First up in the commercial cattle rings was the commercial Blonde-sired calf extravaganza, which saw Michael Creed from Inchageela, Co Cork, take home the hotly contested €1,000 first prize with his two-month-old heifer calf.
In the Charolais-cross section, it was Gene McCann from Julianstown, Co Meath, who took the top spot in the bull calf class, while Kieren Kileen from Mullagh, Co Clare, came out on top in the heifer calf class.
The Limousin-cross section was also well supported, with Sean Hughes from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, winning the bull calf class, followed by Mark Smith from Oldcastle, Co Meath, who won the heifer calf class.
In a hotly contested calf weighing up to 270kg class, it was Pearse McNamee from Convoy, Co Donegal, who scooped the top spot, fighting off 31 other entries for the red rosette.
Pearse also found success in the heifer calf weighing 331kg to 395kg class with his calf Tommy’s Girl, which went on to be tapped out as the reserve supreme calf champion of the show.
With 35 entries into battle for the top of the next class, it was the Kepak championship for the beef factory animal of the future.
This time it was the turn of David and Grace Wharton from Birr, Co Offaly, who won this prestigious class before marching on to be tapped out the supreme calf champion of the show with their January 2023-born calf Empress.
In the senior commercial cattle ring, Sharon Rothwell found her champion in the winner of the best heifer with no permanent teeth class when she tapped out Clive Stevenson from Leterkenny, Co Donegal.
The Charolais-cross heifer was born in April 2022 and has already had a very impressive show season to date.
The reserve senior commercial champion came when Frank and Aisling Burke's Belgian Blue-cross bullock Spud was tapped out after winning the best bullock with two or more permanent teeth class.
Another highlight in the senior section saw James and Jason Teague from Colehill, Co Longford, scoop the Moyvally Meats €2,000 factory bullock championship.
In the Dawn Meats €2,000 factory heifer championship, it was Martin Devine from Claremorris, Co Mayo, who was victorious.
In the commercial replacement breeding heifer class, it was Seanie McGreal from Westport, Co Mayo, who stepped up to claim the top spot.