The long journey to Antrim show paid dividends last Saturday for the young members representing the Irish Limousin Cattle Society at the Anglo Irish YMA finals.
This team which consisted of Shanon Kinahan, Orla Curtin, Eamon O’Donovan and Melvin Masterson fought off stiff competition from teams representing Northern Ireland and the UK to scoop the top prize which is the first time since 1997 that this prestigious title heads south. This annual event was established by the Irish and British Limousin Cattle Societies, to help promote and encourage young breeders.
In representing Ireland these team members previously had to compete at their regional club events before competing in the National final staged at Mountrath mart on Sunday 6th July which saw an entry of 30 competitors. Three of this Irish team represented the South West club (Limerick and Kerry region) at the National final with the fourth member representing the South East club.
The final in Antrim comprised three elements: cattle judging, giving reasons to a panel of three judges and cattle handling in the show ring. Marks were allocated for each of the three categories with the highest weighting going to reasons.
Four heifers and four bulls were brought into the show ring for the judging section. Each competitor had to judge the animals and submit a completed judging card to the judges. Their judging was then ranked against that of the master judge Jim Quail. The next stage of the competition saw each participant present their reasons for placement to the panel of judges who on the day consisted of Jim Quail, Ian Nimmo and Michael Gunn.
For the showing section each young member was allocated an animal at random, they had to parade and stand these animals in the show ring. Alison Connolly assisted by Michael Gunn judged this phase. The standard of competition in this section was extremely high and proved to be a great spectacle for the audience.
In the individual competition top place went to a young lady with a proven record in this competition, Kim Steel Nicholson representing Northern Ireland, followed in second place by another well-known show lady Stephanie Dick representing UK. Third place brought success for Ireland with Wexford man Melvin Masterson taking the honours.
Irish Limousin are extremely proud of their team and their fantastic achievement especially taking into consideration their ages (the average age of the team is 16 and the competition is for Under 25s), this bodes well for the future. The overall standard at this event was very high and all the competitors were a credit to themselves, their parents and the breed.
The ILCS would like to acknowledge the tremendous effort put in by the co-ordinators, mentors, parents and all who contributed along the way to this fantastic result.
Finally many thanks to Northern Ireland club for hosting the event, the judges on the day and the McAuley family of the Larkhill Limousin Herd for their very kind hospitality at the barbeque on their farm following the event.
Eamon, Melvin, Orla and Shanon are indebted to the Limousin Society for all their support and especially to Kevin Bohan,Paul Sykes, Shane Beirne,Doreen Corridan, Marie Louise Ryan, Trevor Masterson, Michael Gunn, Anne Marie Gunn and their families for all their advice and support.
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