The Irish Limousin National Young Members Workshop & Training Course was held in Fermoy mart on Saturday the 16th June. This year it was very kindly hosted by the Cork Limousin Club.
The Workshop was originally scheduled to be hosted at Cork show but due to the shows postponement it was decided to continue with the event at Fermoy mart - which proved to be ideal alternative location. Some breeders who had cattle entered in Cork show very kindly brought them along for the Workshop.
This annual event which is held at a new location each year, covered a number of different aspects – educational, competitive and most importantly enjoyment. The competitors were split in three sections: senior for those aged 17 to 25 years, junior for 12 to 16 year olds and a section for children under 12 years.
Mr. Paul Sykes, Secretary of the Irish Limousin Cattle Society formally opened the workshop. Paul welcomed all the Young Members to Fermoy and stressed their importance to the breed. Paul also went on to highlight the emphasis on showing is more about participation and promoting the breed rather than winning.He told everyone the focus of the workshop was enjoyment and to learn new skills.
Michael Gunn explained the format the workshop was going to take.The first aspect of the Workshop was “Animal Preparation for Shows and Judging”, this presentation was given by renowned Worcestershire-based showman Mr. Rob Kirton. Rob demonstrated on the preparation, grooming and showing of animals. When showing an animal he advised on best practise, know your animal and all about it, always let your animal settle when it comes into a show ring. Always be respectful of the judge and the other competitors in your class – everyone gets their turn. Once you are in the show ring your total concern needs to be on your show animal. You need to keep focused on the judge and even when you have shown keep an eye on the judge. Make the most of your time in the ring – don’t panic and don’t rush.
Rob also spoke on the different aspects involved in judging, he advised the YMA to walk around the cattle to be judged and to give their handlers a chance to settle them. Make comparisons between the cattle, look for weaknesses as well as strengths and then once your happy with the decision you have made you make your presentation. If you are judging heifers remember that they have to grow into good cows.
Each young member then competed in a Stock Judging competition. Two groups of four bulls and four heifers were selected and the young members were given 20 minutes to decide on their placings and to prepare their reasons for the next aspect of the Workshop.
Three judges (who had already appraised the cattle) then tested the young members individually on their placings. The judges were Clive Jennings, Rob Kirton and Ann-Marie Gunn.
Showing was the last aspect of the Workshop. Each Young member was assigned an animal to show and place for the judge. The judge for the showing aspect was Mr. James Hazard. James advised on proper etiquette when showing, dress correctly and always acknowledge the judge.
As the marks were being tallied for each aspect Master Judge Rob Kirton gave a very insightful clipping and grooming demonstration. As he clipped a September 2011 born bull calf he commented on why he was clipping some areas of the calf and just tidying up other areas of the calf.
Michael Gunn the YMA coordinator then called on Rob to announce his decisions on the four bull calves he had earlier judged. The YMA listened as Rob gave his reasons for placing the cattle. Michael then commented on how impressed he and the judges were with the competitors, he advised them to get as much experience showing and judging cattle as they can.
Then the moment everyone had been waiting for the announcement of the winners in each class:
First – Marie-Louise Ryan (South West Club)
Second – Cathal O’Meara (Clare Club)
Third – Sean Moroney (Clare Club)
First – Rachel Moloney (Clare Club)
Second – Declan Lavin (North West Club)
Third – David Byrne (South East Club)
Under 12 Section
First – Daniel Moloney (Clare Club)
Second – Maeve Curtin (South West Club)
Third – Conor Gunn (North West Club)
First – Orla Curtin
Second – Ronan Tuohy
Third - James O’Leary
The winners of the Team event were as follows:
First - Clare: Sean Moroney, Cathal O’Meara, Rachel Moloney and Elaine Clancy.
Second – North West: Michelle Tarpey, Melissa Tarpey, Declan Lavin and Christopher O’Connor
Third – South West: Marie-Louise Ryan, Mairead Ryan, Murt Ryan and Thady O’Sullivan.
The winner of the Special prize awarded for the highest score awarded from any of the three disciplines was Daniel Moloney of the Clare Club.
The twelve young members to go through to the next round are: Marie-Louise Ryan, Sean Moroney, Cathal O’Meara, Rachel Moloney, Elaine Clancy, Murt Ryan, Melissa Tarpey, Michelle Tarpey, Declan Lavin, Declan McHugh, Ava O’ Leary & Tadgh O’Brien.
Master Judge Mr. Kirton commented on the very high level of the competition and on the very professional approach by the Young Members.
The winners were presented with their prizes by Mr. John O’Grady of the Cork Club and everyone received a goodie bag with a selection of grooming products included supplied by PedigreeCattle.ie.
Paul then thanked all those involved in running this event, Brid Cronin, Cork Club Chairperson, Pat O’Neill, Cork Club Secretary, James Wycherley and Michael Gunn, the National YMA coordinators, the club co-ordinators, Jimmy McHugh NE, John O’Grady, Dan O’Mahony and Frank Buckley, Cork, Brendan Curtin, SW, Sean Moroney, Clare, Jennifer Moran, NW and Emer Byrne, SE. Master Judges Rob Kirton, James Hazard, Ann-Marie Gunn, Clive Jennings. The management and staff of Fermoy mart, Sean, Catherine and Paul for stepping into the breach and kindly hosting the event at such short notice. The Breeders who travelled from near and far with their animals. Other people due special mention were Kevin Bohan and Keith Murphy from the Ardlea herd, Pat and Ger Sheahan, Michael Pat Murphy, Doreen Corridan, Frank Byrne, Ann Curtin and Jimmy Smyth. The Cork club for hosting the event. The parents who transported the young members to Cork and the YMA themselves for making it such an enjoyable day for young and old alike. A special word of thanks to Ashbourne Meats and PedigreeCattle.ie for their generous sponsorship.
It was great to see so many young people from all over Ireland enjoying this occasion and making new friends while also learning new skills and more about the breed.
Here at the Irish Limousin Cattle Society we were very impressed with the competitors at this event – the future of the breed is in very good hands with the calibre of this group of young members. They are a credit to their families and to the clubs they represent. Their enthusiasm in the breed should be nurtured and encouraged. We would like to congratulate all the participants and to wish the winners the very best of luck in the next stage of the competition.