The Irish Hereford Breed Society held two cattle dressing & showing workshops this week as part of the competition in conjunction with Slaney Foods International & Lidl Ireland, to select a team of 4 Young Hereford breeders to represent Ireland in the Young Handlers Competition at the World Hereford Conference in New Zealand in March 2020.
The first workshop was held on the farm of Tom and Anselm Fitzgerald of Grianan Herefords in Co. Westmeath last Saturday 27th July. This farm was a terrific venue for such an event with all the necessary resources available and allowed for a more personal touch to the day. Anselm was both the host and the demonstrator for 5 of the midlands candidates; Catherine, James, Katie, Mark & Sinead.
The second workshop was held last Wednesday 31st July in Bandon Mart. The mart was a great central facility with all of the resources needed for a smooth running of the event. Michael O’Keeffe of Gurteragh Herefords, kindly supplied the cattle and transported them from Newmarket on the morning of the event. The demonstrator on the day was Peter O’Connell who is well known for his cattle handling and showing abilities. All 5 Munster candidates made their way to Bandon for the day; Clodagh, Eoin, Hannah, Michael & Ross.
Both days kicked off with lunch at 12pm and a meet and greet between the candidates, hosts, demonstrators, members of the society and sponsors.
Although each demonstrator had a slightly different approach to demonstrating, both workshops covered all of the essential information surrounding showing cattle from; initially choosing the animal, handling that animal, tying the animal, washing & drying, clipping & brushing the animal, using enhancing products such as soap to highlight the animals good points and finally demonstrating leading the animal into the ring, highlighting the animal in the ring and standing the animal upright and correct. Each candidate had the opportunity of seeing their demonstrator at work first before getting hands on at preparing an animal for show themselves and leading the animal as if in a show.
To conclude the workshop, both Anselm and Peter summarised over the main take home points of the day and ensured that should any of the finalists need advice in the future that both Anselm & Peter will be available to help.
The knowledge relayed to the candidates and all who attended the workshops is invaluable to cattle showing enthusiasts and both Anselm and Peter were more than generous in sharing their knowledge and expertise. There is no doubt that all present gained much practical knowledge and advice and will hopefully put it into practice over the coming months at shows and sales.
The feedback from all who supported both events was positive on all accounts and each of the finalists went home happy they had attended the workshop after learning very useful tips.
The society would like to express huge thanks and appreciation to the hosts; Tom & Anselm Fitzgerald and Bandon Mart, demonstrators; Anselm Fitzgerald & Peter O’Connell, Michael O’Keeffe who kindly supplied the cattle in Bandon and our kind sponsors; Slaney Foods International and Lidl Ireland.
The next step of the competition for each candidate is to show Hereford cattle of their choice at an Agricultural show of their choice. The society wishes each candidate the very best of luck.