The finals of the annual Munster Branch Bull and Female of the Year competitions were held at this weekend’s Limerick Show. The Bull and Female of the Year championships are hotly contested by breeders and exhibitors alike throughout the entire Munster region and it is the showing highlight of the season for the Munster Branch. This year, the Munster Branch ran a Senior Female of the Year, Junior Female of the Year, Senior Bull of the Year and Junior Bull of the Year, with major prizes on offer in each section. Points were accumulated at the main shows held in Munster during the summer months, namely Charleville, Bridgetown, Nenagh, Cappamore and Limerick. The competition attracted the top Herefords in Munster and the quality of cattle presented for the finals at Limerick Show was outstanding.
The Senior Female of the Year was awarded to the young cow “Gurteragh Jolly” owned by Michael O’ Keeffe, Gurteragh, Newmarket, Co. Cork. Gurteragh Jolly has enjoyed a strong show career as both a calf and a maiden heifer and this year had been awarded the Female & Reserve Supreme Hereford Champion at Bridgetown Show earlier in the summer. Jolly also won the cow class at Limerick Show on the day.
The Reserve Senior Female of the Year went to Matthew Goulding, Ballyduff, Tralee, Co. Kerry with “Gouldingpoll 1 Duchess 548”. Duchess 548 is a daughter of the famed show cow Dorepoll 1 Duchess, a former two time Female Champion at the National Hereford Show, Tullamore. Duchess 548 also won 1st prize in the senior heifer class at Limerick on the day.
The Junior Female of the Year was won by “Lakelodge Queen Mildred 7” owned by Henry Dudley, The Poplars, Dovea, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Queen Mildred 7 is currently enjoying a streak of 7 consecutive 1st prizes, the highlight of which was undoubtedly her 1st prize win at the National Hereford Show, Tullamore earlier this month. In addition to clinching the Junior Female of the Year, Queen Mildred 7 was also awarded the Female & Overall Supreme Hereford Championship of Limerick Show on the day.
The Reserve Junior Female of the Year went to “Gouldingpoll 1 Duchess 591” from the Gouldingpoll herd of Matthew Goulding. Duchess 591 was also the Reserve Female Champion on the day and has enjoyed a terrific summer on the show circuit having placed as the Reserve All Ireland Heifer Calf Champion at the National Hereford Show, Tullamore.
The Junior Bull of the Year was won by “Gurteragh Maximus” owned by Michael O’ Keeffe. Maximus has achieved many notable successes throughout the 2014 show season including a 1st prize win at Nenagh Show, the Reserve Supreme Championship at Newmarket & District Show and taking the Reserve All-Ireland Bull Calf Championship at the National Hereford Show, Tullamore. Maximus continued his fine form at Limerick Show when he was awarded the Male Championship and the Reserve Supreme Championship in addition to his Junior Bull of the Year title.
The Reserve Junior Bull of the Year went to “Clondrina 1110th” from the Clondrina Herd of Declan Donnelly, Lissycasey, Ennis, Co. Clare. This quality young calf had not been shown extensively earlier in the season but held his own amongst a strong entry of bull calves (despite being one of the youngest in the class) to claim the Reserve Bull of the Year position.
The Senior Bull of the Year also went to the Gurteragh Herd of Michael O’ Keeffe and Family with their senior bull “Gurteragh Justice”. This marked an outstanding day for the Gurteragh Herd as they secured a first place finish in three of the four categories at this year’s Munster finals – a fantastic accomplishment. Gurteragh Justice is a former Munster Branch Junior Bull of the Year winner and was also successful in winning the Overall Supreme Hereford Champion at Bridgetown Show last month.
The Bull and Female of the Year competitions are an outstanding spectacle of Hereford cattle and a terrific opportunity for Munster breeders to showcase their cattle. Great credit must go to all involved in the Munster Branch and in particular Branch Chairman, Martin Murphy for staging and organizing the competition. Well done to all the winners, finalists, sponsors and everyone who supports the competition each year.
Report and Photos: Susan and Edward Dudley