Huge entries were met with top-tier competition in the Limousin ring at the FBD National Livestock Show in 2018. The male championship and National Livestock Show overall breed championship was won by Oldcastle, Co Meath brothers, Karl and John Connell of the Carrickmore Limousin Herd with their 11-month-old bull, Carrickmore Maximus.
Carrickmore Maximus was an exceptional bull, sired by Ampertaine Foreman out of the renowned Baileys Ice Princess. Ice Princess (Maximus’s mother) was herself a two-time Tullamore champion, a Balmoral champion and the International Limousin Congress overall champion in 2016. She was bred by Tom Bailey of the Baileys Limousin Herd in Co Meath and was purchased as a yearling heifer by the Connell brothers.
Reflecting on Ice Princess’s own success, Karl Connell told the Irish Farmers Journal: “She is a cow of a lifetime. In my opinion, she is one of the best cows across Ireland and the UK, both as a show cow and as a breeding female. She’s a credit to Tom (Bailey). Being able to breed a beast like that is a huge achievement and we will never have anything like her again.”
Her first 10 sons have sold to an average price of €14,460. Eight of her 10 sons are currently standing in pedigree herds with five of them standing with herds in the UK.
Maximus greatly aided this average figure, as he marched on from his Tullamore Show success to the Irish Limousin Cattle Society premier sale in Roscrea later that year.
Maximus has bred countless champions and sale toppers
At 13 months old, the Foreman son stood as the overall champion in the pre-sale show before he broke a new record for Limousin bulls in Ireland, selling to the Goldies, Harestone and Tweedale herds in the UK for a whopping €38,000.
Since arriving in the UK, Maximus has bred countless champions and sale toppers, including:
Speaking about Maximus, brothers Karl and John said that they knew he was special almost from the day he was born.
“At six months old, his growth and power was unparallel to anything we had ever seen before. Tullamore is always the one you want to win, so to win with him after winning there twice with his mother was so special to us and made all the hard work that we put in worth it,” Karl said.
“The level of interest shown by UK customers was surreal and being asked by so many prominent breeders about him was a super feeling,” he concluded.
In 2018, quality dominated the dairy rings and scooping the overall championship was certainly no easy feat. The overall FBD National Livestock Show Senior Holstein Friesian Championship was won by Laurelelm Fever Brilliant from the herd of Rickey Barrett, Ballinhassig, Co Cork.
The December 2014-born cow was sired by the homebred bull, Laurelelm Jever and her dam, grand dam and great grand dam were all homebred cows.
As busy farmers, the Barrett family find it difficult to make time for shows, especially with early milkings and a long road from Cork to the midlands. 2017 was Rickey’s first time ever exhibiting at Tullamore Show.
That year, he exhibited Laurelelm Fever Brilliant as a heifer where she finished in third place in a hotly contested class of females.
Knowing that she was developing into a natural champion, Rickey and his family made the long journey again in 2018 with Fever Brilliant. Much to their delight, she was tapped out at the overall champion.
Just months after her big win in Tullamore, Laurelelm Fever Brilliant travelled to the National Dairy Show in Millstreet where she was crowned the reserve supreme champion. Due to the dreaded Covid-19 restrictions, her showing career was cut short, missing out on two very important years.
Looking beyond the pandemic, Fever Brilliant continued her winning streak winning the best cow award in the local herds competition and winning numerous prizes at local shows.
Laurelelm Fever Brilliant has milked over 83,000kg in her milk lifetime yield to date, 7,028kg milk solids and she is still going strong in her sixth lactation.
Her functionality, durability and quality overall has seen her reach a classification score of EX95 4E (Excellent) last December.
She has passed on her qualities to her offspring with four registered daughters to date
She has recorded 11,900kg milk, 918kg milk solids in her sixth lactation to date (261 days) with an impressive SCC of 48 and she is a fourth-generation VG/EX dam.
She has passed on her qualities to her offspring with four registered daughters to date, all of whom have classified in the top two categories of conformation of VG (very good)/EX (excellent).
Laurelelm Slick Brilliant EX94 3E
Laurelelm Roman Brilliant EX90
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal about her success, Rickey Barrett said: “She is a very special cow to our family. She has started an excellent cow family called the Brilliant family and they are breeding very well. Look, 2018 was only our second time exhibiting in Tullamore. Not many dairy exhibitors make that journey from Cork so to be tapped out as the champion at such a beautiful show was unreal.
“We had the overall Jersey champion on the same day and I had never seen the parade of champions before, so to be in that parade at the end of the day with two of the champions was incredible,” he concluded.
Caramba Rothes Hottie from the herd of Tommy Staunton, Kinvara, Co Galway, was one of the first crops of calves born within the Caramba Herd and was sired by Tommy’s stock bull, Carrarock Chalkie. She was out of a foundation female that Tommy purchased from the Uppermill Herd, Uppermill Rothes Molly.
Tommy told the Irish Farmers Journal: “The mating of Chalkie and Molly produced the best progeny in the Caramba Herd.”
Full sister to Hottie, Caramba Rothes Kissable fetched the record price for a Shorthorn heifer sold at auction in Ireland in 2017 when she sold to Scottish breeder Catherine Williamson for €5,200.
In 2018, another full sister sold to another Scottish breeder, Tom Bradley for a new breed record price of €8,400 which stands as the current breed record.
Described by Tommy as a “star” from the moment she was born, Hottie enjoyed big success at her first outing in Limerick Show in 2014, where she competed against 22 other calves to win her first red rosette. Only a few short weeks later, Hottie went on to win her first all-Ireland title.
Rolling into a new showing season, Hottie entered the 2015 circuit as a champion and took Balmoral Show by storm. As a yearling heifer she stood proud and took home a first prize plaque and the overall female Shorthorn champion.
Later that year, Hottie scooped her first overall breed supreme champion at Tullamore Show. Her success continued just two short weeks later at Limerick Show where she competed against 23 yearling heifers to be crowned the all-Ireland Shorthorn yearling heifer champion.
In 2016, Hottie hopped across the pond and was exhibited at the Great Yorkshire Show as a senior heifer.
Tommy said: “She did us very proud that day standing third in her class. The two heifers that stood in front of her went on to be tapped out as the overall and reserve overall breed champions.
“After the Yorkshire Show, Hottie was retired but to the delight of many Shorthorn enthusiasts, Hottie returned to the show scene in August 2017 for Tullamore Show, only to claim her third all-Ireland, this time as a cow with her young calf at foot and again scooped the supreme overall breed champion at Tullamore Show in 2018.
Hottie’s first progeny, Caramba Hottie Koo, followed in her mother’s footsteps claiming her own all-Ireland titles as a heifer calf.
Koo later went on to be crowned the cow of the future winner. Hotties granddaughter, Caramba Hottie Nottie Koo, also began her own journey as a champion claiming the reserve overall breed championship at Balmoral Show in 2022.
Unfortunately, in the summer of 2019, the Caramba Herd lost Hottie to TB. Tommy told the Irish Farmers Journal, “this was a very difficult time for the herd as we lost 18 animals that we highly rated in the herd. Having said that, we are very lucky that we still have her daughter Hottie Koo, and granddaughter Hottie Nottie Koo and hopefully Hotties line will live long into the future.”
“The day she went away, there were tears from both myself and Trevor [Trevor Chadwick, herd manager], but thankfully the joyful days we had with her outweighed the sad days after she left.”