While the current weather conditions are far from summer show weather, the rain didn’t dampen the spirits at last Sunday’s FBD National Livestock Show training day for young people in Tullamore Mart.

Over 200 young people from every corner of the country flocked to Tullamore Mart to attend the event.

Showing cattle and sheep has built up a huge following in recent years. Walk into any summer show in the country this summer and it's young people who dominate the show rings and the people with the cattle.

The interest is across all ages, with children as young as six years old taking part in Sunday’s proceedings in Tullamore Mart.

Speaking at the event, FBD’s Pat Gilligan said: “It’s a really unique aspect of farming. In so many other facets of Irish agriculture, it tends to be older people involved, let that be marts or anything else.

"Shows seems to have captivated an interest with young people and it's important that we look after and foster that interest in the years ahead and that’s why FBD are delighted to be involved in today’s event.”

Kilkenny’s famous auctioneer George Candler compered the event with his usual quick wit and energy.

The event catered for dairy, beef and sheep enthusiasts, with proceedings kicking off in the wash bay in Tullamore Mart with two Roscommon men Alan Gibbons and Fergal Flanagan and a Cork man Michael Dullea, giving a demo on washing an animal before sale.

Tips on having an animal well trained before washing, steel toe cap boots and the correct washing equipment were all gone through by the three men to a packed ringside.

Next up was clipping with Fergal Flanagan, taking the onlookers through clipping a continental animal.

Fergal explained how to bring out the positives of an animal through clipping in certain areas.

Michael Dullea took charge of a Hereford bull, going through some of the differences of preparing a traditional breed as opposed to a continental animal. Well-oiled clippers and a fine blade when clipping heads were some of the top tips given at this station.

Young handlers Catherine Smith, Cian Connolly and Aidan Kinahan - all very proficient and successful livestock handlers - took the audience through a masterclass on showing animals, along with picking the right spot in a show ring to stand your animal.

Correct dress, including a shirt and tie, was also advised as essential in the show ring, along with following the judges' and stewards' instructions at all times.

Texel breeder John Neville went through the same routine for any budding sheep-showing breeders, with a lot of interest in the sheep section on the day.

Jim Dockery from Farm Relief Services gave an overview of health and safety on show day: “It's important that you have everything covered off that can go wrong on show day, including a spare wheel for a trailer if you get a flat wheel on the way to a show.”

Jim wasn’t the only Dockey involved, with Ronan, Jason and Ramond Dockery also giving a demo on halter making to the crowd present.

Shanon Kinahan from the Irish Farmers Journal outlined some tips on taking photos of stock, including the distance you should be standing from the animals when you are taking the all-important shot and getting the feet and legs correct for the photo.

Speaking after the event, head of the commercial cattle section at the FBD National Livestock Show in Tullamore Michael Dolan said: “We were delighted with the event. Chelsea Cox along with the livestock committee put an enormous effort into organising the event and it was great to see such a crowd present for the day.”

The FBD National Livestock Show takes place on Sunday 11 August at Butterfield Estate in Tullamore, Co Offaly.