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HomeBeefMiss Honey stands top of line in €2,000 All-Ireland Non-Pedigree Suckler Heifer...
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Miss Honey stands top of line in €2,000 All-Ireland Non-Pedigree Suckler Heifer Championship

The Byrne Brother’s Miss Honey has swept the boards in the hotly-contested Irish Shows Association and Swinford Show Society’s €2,000 All-Ireland Non-Pedigree Suckler Heifer Championship, sponsored by Progressive Genetics.

Their Charolais-cross heifer stood at the top of a seven-strong line-up at Ballinrobe Agricultural Show, Co Mayo on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023.

The championship was initially set to take place at the nearby Swinford Agricultural Show the previous Sunday, but organisers cancelled the event in light of inclement weather and ground conditions, as reported by us in this news article.

Michael McMorrow, Co Sligo officiated as judge of the championship, which offered cash and vouchers to the value of €2,000.

14 heifers qualified from shows across the country, but due to various reasons, including the movement of the event to Ballinrobe, the championship saw a 50% turnout.

The competition’s prize pot boasts €600 and a sash for the champion, €350 for 2nd, €250 for 3rd, €200 for 4th and 5th and €50 for heifers that stand from places 6 to 13.

Eligibility criteria

The competition is open to all breeds of non-pedigree heifers, suitable to produce and rear a calf with the potential for current commercial beef markets.

Heifers may be in-calf or maiden at the final and for heifers that are in-calf, evidence must be provided by means of a scanning cert or insemination cert.

A heifer’s potential mothering ability is assessed and they must be halter trained and led by a competent adult.

Up to two heifers could qualify at each show if the standard was deemed sufficient by judges.

Animals that qualified for this competition at various shows across the country were ineligible for entry to other classes at the final.

Heifers in the championship:
  • 2 – Byrne Brothers, from Co Donegal – Charolais-cross Belgian Blue heifer which qualified at Finn Valley Show;
  • 4 – Seanie McGreal, Co Mayo – Limousin-cross-Simmental heifer – Norman Inventor (AI LM bull) and a Simmental-cross cow – qualified at Corrandulla Show;
  • 5 – Sinead and Ciara McKeon, Co Longford – Limousin-cross (Elite Icecream daughter) and a Limousin dam – qualified at Mullingar Show;
  • 6 – Linda Flanagan, Co Roscommon – Bred by Derrick Forde and out of a Limousin sire – Qualified at Granard Agricultural Show;
  • 10 – Richard O’Dowd, Co Roscommon – Out of a Limousin-cross cow and a Limousin bull – Qualified at Grange Agricultural Show, Sligo;
  • 12 – Brady Family, Co Roscommon – No breeding available – qualified at Ballinamore Agricultural Show;
  • 14 – Sinead and Ciara McKeon, Co Longford – A BB2247 (Dovea Genetics’ sire) daughter that qualified at Tullow Agricultural Show.

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Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver, representing Swinford Show Society, said:

“Myself and Stanley Black are here from Swinford Show. We want to thank the Irish Shows Association and Ballinrobe Agricultural Show for facilitating us, in hosting this final today.”

“Unfortunately, as Martin Regan said earlier, weather prevented our show from going ahead.”

“We are over the moon with the quality of stock here. We are delighted to have Michael McMorrow as our judge, who judged the final sometime before.”

“With all due respect to the rest of us, Michael has probably forgotten more about breeding heifers than most of us could ever imagine that we could learn.”

“It is his everyday job, and he has exported cattle to Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, as well as supplying many people in Ireland with breeding heifers.”

“Michael has a thorough knowledge of the breeding industry and knows the female that is required by the modern-day cattle breeder to breed the show calf of the future.”

“You all saw the standard and quality of the calves here today, and that takes animals like these to produce those sort of calves.”

“I would also like to thank Progressive Genetics; our long-term sponsor of this competition, secured through local rep, Martin Regan. They have been with us from day one and this is the most sought-after breeding heifer title.”

  • 1st – Byrne Brothers with no 2;
  • 2nd – Seanie McGreal with no 4;
  • 3rd – Linda Flanagan with no 6;
  • 4th – Sinead and Ciara McKeon, Longford with no 5;
  • 5th – James Brady with no 12;
  • 6th – Richard O’Dowd with no 10;
  • 7th – Sinead and Ciara McKeon, with no 14.

Speaking following the results, the judge, Michael McMorrow, said:

“The first heifer in the line-up is the most natural cow, but there would not be much between all the heifers, as they are all well turned out and well handled.”

“Any of them would make a good cow, but this is my choice on the day,” McMorrow added.

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