Youth Competition 2019/2020

In 2019, the Irish Hereford Breed Society were delighted to announce the competition for Young Irish Hereford Breeders, in conjunction with Slaney Foods International and Lidl Ireland. A team of 4 Young Irish Hereford breeders were chosen to attend the World Hereford Conference in New Zealand in March 2020 and compete in the Young Handlers Competition.

The closing date for the Competition was 18th July 2019 and there was a strong interest in the competition with a high standard of applications received. The adjudicators had a tough job to choose just 10 finalists to compete for the 4 places at the conference.

Well done and a huge thank you to all who applied for our Travel bursary to New Zealand to compete in the Young Breeders Competition at the World Hereford Conference in March 2020.

Congratulations to the 10 finalists who were chosen to continue onto the next stage of the competition, in no particular order;

Clodagh Lynch, Cork.

Sinead Conry, Roscommon.

Mark Stewart, Monaghan.

Ross Bateman, Cork.

James Thompson, Carlow.

Catherine Smyth,Meath.

Eoin Lynch, Cork.

Hannah Quinn-Mulligan, Limerick.

Michael Barrett, Cork.

Katie Brady, Cavan.

Our 10 finalists have been very busy with the next stages of the competition. Each candidate attended at Cattle Showing workshop; the first workshop was held on the farm of Tom and Anselm Fitzgerald of Grianan Herefords in Co. Westmeath last Saturday 27th July. Anselm was both the host and the demonstrator for 5 of the midlands candidates; Catherine, James, Katie, Mark & Sinead.

Workshop in Fitzgeralds. Lto R: Willie Branagan (IHBS Chairman), Henry Dudley (IHBS President), Larry Feeney (IHBS Secretary), Katie Brady, Sinead Conry, James Thompson, Mark Stewart, Catherine Smyth, Tom Fitzgerald, Anselm Fitzgerald, Louise Callan (IHBS Development Officer

The second workshop was held last Wednesday 31st July in Bandon Mart. 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.

Workshop in Bandon: L to R: Michael O’Keeffe, Willie Branagan (IHBS Chairman), Pat McCarthy (IHBS Council), Michael Barrett, Eoin Lynch, Clodagh Lynch, Hannah Quinn-Mulligan & Ross Bateman.

From there, each candidate attended an agricultural show of their choice and showed a Hereford animal in the show ring. This stage of the competition began In Nenagh on bank holiday Monday 5th August and included various shows such as; Tullamore, Ballygarvan, Trim & Strokestown.

Stage 3 for all finalists involved creating a video or presentation promoting the Hereford breed in their own opinion. These videos turned out very well & were a credit to each candidate who each expressed very valid & factual opinions. These videos will be displayed publicly soon.

Each candidate was marked on each stage of the competition to give a fair chance in the competition.

The final stage of the competition was held on Wednesday 18th September at the National Ploughing Championships in Fenagh, Co. Carlow; with each of the 10 finalists sitting an earnest interview with Thomas Duffy, President of Macra na Feirme. Thomas questioned the Young Breeders on their knowledge of the Hereford breed, the challenges facing the breed and how would they promote the breed in New Zealand as well as to dairy farmers at home. The interview were carried out over a microphone on front of a large public audience which was no easy task for our 10 candidates but that did not phase any of them. Each candidate spoke clearly and competently and gave very thoughtful and knowledgeable answers.

Katie Brady, Mark Stewart, Sinead Conry, Michael Barrett, Clodagh Lynch, Eoin Lynch, Louise Callan (IHBS Breed Development Officer), Henry Dudley (IHBS President), Marika Mahon (Slaney Foods), James Thompson, Ross Bateman, Hannah Quinn-Mulligan, Catherine Smyth, Thomas Duffy (Macra na Feirme President), Willie Branagan (IHBS Chairman).

Across all stages of the competition; each of the 10 finalists showcased their talent, competency & enthusiasm which drove the standard very high and left a very fine line between all 10 competitors, leaving it no easy task to choose just 4 winners.  Each candidate should be very proud of themselves.  Their effort in completing all the stages of this competition is commendable.

The Irish Hereford Travel Bursary winners, who  will represent Ireland at World Hereford Conference Young Breeders Competition in New Zealand in March 2020 are;

Eoin Lynch, Co. Cork.

Michael Barrett, Co. Cork

Sinead Conry, Co. Roscommon.

Katie Brady, Co. Cavan.

Reserve Winners: Clodagh Lynch, Co. Cork & Catherine Smyth, Co. Meath.

The Society is delighted to have such competent young breeders coming on stream which are more than capable to sustain the future of the Hereford Breed. The Society would like to take this opportunity to thank all who helped out with the competition including Grianan Herefords & Bandon Mart who facilitated the workshops; Grianan Herefords & Gurteragh Herefords who provided cattle and Anselm Fitzgerald & Peter O’Connell who demonstrated cattle dressing and showing skills. A huge thanks also to Thomas Duffy, President of Macra na Feirme, for carrying out & interviews. Finally we would like to thank our sponsors Slaney Foods International and Lidl Ireland without whom this competition would not be possible. We wish all our Young Breeders the greatest of success going forward and look forward to working with again them in the future.

4 Young breeders who will represent Ireland at WHC2020 in New Zealand: Eoin Lynch, Sinead Conry, Katie Brady & Michael Barrett.

Check out our competitions page ( for more info on our Irish Team of Young Handlers and their Journey to the World Hereford Conference in New Zealand in March 2020.

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