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

Irish Examiner - Farming - - COVER STORY - De­nis Le­hane

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.

Pic­ture: Andrew Harris

Al­bert De Co­gan show­ing his three-year-old Aberdeen An­gus Bull, Cheeklay-Jack-Eric at Car­bery Show in and Sk­ib­bereen.

Pic­ture: Anne Mini­hane

Gwen and Don­agh Mur­phy at the Car­bery Show in Sk­ib­bereen.

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