The Irish Angus Cattle Society held its annual Aldi Irish Angus Bull Calf Championships at Iverk Show in Co Kilkenny on Saturday 26 August with huge numbers in attendance.
The championships, which are held in conjunction with ABP, featured a record prize fund of €31,500 for the bull calf championships as well as a €4,000 prize fund for the female classes and a €1,000 prize for An Banrionn Dubh (female champion).
There was €2,800 on offer for the Aldi and Irish Angus Tréad na hÉireann final, a €2,000 youth development programme (YDP) young stockperson of the year and a €320 prize fund for the junior handler lead rein final.
Taking on the task of judging was Northern Ireland breeder Sam Coleman for the second year in row and he certainly did not face an easy challenge on the day.
Heifer calf class
Proceedings kicked off with the females in the November 2022- to April 2023-born class. Stepping up to scoop first prize were Noel and Lisa Dowd from Creggs, Co Galway, with Loughglass Willow.
Willow is a February 2023-born calf sired by Fordel Lockdown and is bred from Mayo Maeve.
Second prize in this class went to Martin Mulcahy from Rathglassane, Co Cork, with Rathfort Valerie 140.
Valerie is a December 2022-born heifer sired by Stouphill Bomber and was bred from Bauroe Penny.
Third prize in this section was awarded to Alan Gibbons from Caggle, Co Roscommon, with his December 2022-born Rawburn Boss Hogg daughter, Carrowboy Vida.
Next up was a class for the heifers born between August and October 2022. Stepping up to scoop the top prize in this section was Niall Regan, a young breeder from Gorthaganny, Co Roscommon, with his September 2022-born heifer, Dillon Vancouver.
Vancouver is a Lavally Prince daughter and was bred from Dillon Janelle. Second prize was awarded to Ger Ryan from Castleblagh, Co Cork, with Ryans Virgo.
Virgo is a very stylish October-born calf. Third prize in this section was awarded to another Cork breeder, Michael Dullea,with his September-born heifer, Deelish V Precious.
A slightly older heifer class saw stiff competition from five super heifers.
Taking the first place rosette once again was young Niall Regan from Co Roscommon with Coney Island Uptown Girl.
Uptown Girl, who later went on to be tapped out An Banrionn Dubh (female champion) is a November 2021-born heifer sired by Drumcrow Savoy.
Second prize was awarded to the powerful Bellingham B Trish from the herd of Karl Connell from Newcastle, Co Meath. Trish is a January 2022-born heifer sired by Intelagri Marco. Standing in third prize was once again Noel and Lisa Dowd with their February 2022-born heifer, Loughglass Venus. Venus is sired by Keirsbeath Karma.
The last set of females into the ring were the Angus cows which could be shown both with or without their calves at foot.
Stepping up to scoop the top spot was once again Noel and Lisa Dowd with their April 2015-born cow, Mayo Meave.
Meave is sired by Newpark Hugo and is out of Newpark Annie.
In second place was Niall Regan with his October 2012-born cow, Dillon Janelle, sired by Coney Island Legend, and in third place was Martin Mulcahy from Rathglassane, Co Cork, with his April 2017-born cow, Barrow Penny sired by Steil Knockranny.
Tréad Na hÉireann
The Tréad Na hÉireann competition which sees teams of three made up of a cow, an in-calf/maiden heifer and a male or female calf was also won by the father-and-daughter duo of Noel and Lisa Dowd who stepped up to claim the €1,000 first prize.
Aldi, ABP and Irish Angus all-Ireland bull calf championship
The Aldi ABP Irish Angus all-Ireland bull calf championship came as one of the main highlights of the day as a large selection of young Angus bulls battled it out to be crowned the three champions of this year’s competition.
In the first class which was open to bull calves born between February 2023 and April 2023, the championship title travelled to west Cork to Keith and Caroline Vickery with their February-born bull, Carbery Warlord, who was sired by Stouphill Bomber.
Reserve champion in this class was awarded to Conor Craig and Amanda Bogan with their February-born calf, Millbawn Whopper, while the third prize title was awarded to Mayo breeder, Gráinne Horan, with her February-born bull, Coolcran Wallace.
The second class in this section was for bulls born between November 2022 and January 2023 and the champion prize was awarded to the November 2022-born Ryans Victorious who is sired by Keirsbeath Karma from the Cork-based herd of Ger Ryan.
The reserve championship title was awarded to Alan Gibbons, from Co Roscommon, with his November 2022-born bull, Carrowboy Vinny. Third prize in this class went to Tipperary breeder Len Gaynor with his November 2022-born bull, Kilruane A-Shock.
In the final championship, bulls born between August and October 2022 battled it out for the last titles of the day and it was Cork man Michael Dullea who came out on top with his August-born bull, Deelish Valliant.
The reserve championship title was awarded to Shane McKiernan with his August 2022-born bull Drumcarbin Vierra, sired by Loughlynn Humdinger.
Third prize in this section was awarded to Ger Ryan with his August-born bull, Ryans Vernon sired by Keirsbeath Karma.