Simmental best in the county at Carbery after break of 26 years
Best of the breeds after gap of more than quarter of a century in Carbery’s Cork Beef Bull Championship
It has taken 26 years for the Simmental to make a triumphant return, said Peter O’Connell, after ‘Raceview His Royal Diamond’ owned by Peter and Marion O’Connell of Raceview, Mallow, won the prestigious Cork County Beef Bull Championship, at last week’s Carbery Show in Skibbereen.
Peter paid special tribute to the late Michael Veale, who was the last Simmental breeder to take the award, 26 years ago.
He had high praise for the cattle judges.
“A competition like this is no easy task to judge. You are judging cattle from a whole host of breeds. It’s a bit like choosing a single all-star from a variety of different sports.” Qualifiers had been selected at all the other Co Cork shows. It’s the 31st year of the Championship.
Michael Cody and his son Thomas from Piltown, Co Kilkenny were in Skibbereen judging Charolais, Limousin, Simmental and Belgian Blue stock. Michael is a Belgian Blue breeder; he won the Cork County Beef Bull Championship in 2007.
He was impressed with the stock on show, citing in particular their “outstanding natural conformation”. Gwen Murphy from nearby Cullinagh enjoyed her day at Carbery Show. Gwen, her husband Lorcan and children, Frankie (12), Donagh (10), Kieran (9) and Mae (7) all participated in the horse and pony events. Their efforts were rewarded handsomely, with a large collection of of rosettes and prizes after what 10-yearold Donagh described as “a day of fun”.
“We go to every show in West Cork,” said Gwen. “And if we are not at shows, we are at fairs, show jumping or hunting.” They are West Carbery Hunt members. Another Carbery Show regular is Friesian breeder and dairy farmer Jerry Hegarty, who has been attending the event more than 30 years. He farms at Mohonagh, Church Cross, Skibbereen, a place like many other spots in West Cork that will welcome the rain forecast for this week. For Jerry and his son Dermot, and all farmers coping with the drought, Carbery Show was the perfect spot to forget about the challenges on the land for a day, and cel-
“A competition like this is no easy task to judge. You are judging cattle from a whole host of breeds. It’s a bit like choosing a single all-star from a variety of different sports”
ebrate victories in the Friesian cow competitions. “I’m pleased enough after my day,” said Jerry, after Robert and Sylvia Helen, Clonakilty, celebrated winning both the Friesian championship and the Carbery group of three females prizes, but the Hegarty cattle were next best of the show in both these top dairy classes, and won the T D Burke Perpetual Challenge Cup.
These competitions are not without their share of nail biting moments.
Jerry was an All-Ireland road bowling champion and I asked him how does competing with cattle at shows like Carbery compare with the pressures of road bowling? “This is even more stressful,” said Jerry with a smile. Results in the Carbery Show championships included the following.
Albert De Cogan showing his three-year-old Aberdeen Angus Bull, Cheeklay-Jack-Eric at Carbery Show in and Skibbereen.
Gwen and Donagh Murphy at the Carbery Show in Skibbereen.