Desire for success still forms backbone of Tullamore Show
More than 55,000 people are expected to descend on Co Offaly this Sunday for the hugely popular Tullamore Show and AIB National Livestock Show.
With 45 national titles and prestigious gold medal awards up for grabs, livestock producers across the country regard winning at Tullamore as the pinnacle of success.
There is a distinctly international flavour to the pedigree cattle section, with no less than 11 continental breeds competing, including Simmental, Charolais, Limousin, Belgian Blue, Angus, Hereford, Salers, Aubrac, Blond d'Aquitaine, Shorthorn and Parthenaise.
This is by far the biggest cattle section in the AIB National Livestock Show, with 148 classes scheduled, including the Limousin and Hereford national shows.
The prize fund for the commercial cattle classes has increased by 50pc since last year and this year's show features four new classes for factory-type animals. These new classes are replacing the Super Bullock and Super Heifer classes, as the focus is now centred on animals suitable for current market requirements.
One of the new classes is the 'Best Beef Animal of the Future', aimed at male or female calves up to 425kg. Following high entry numbers in the Belgian Blue crossbred calf class last year, the class is being divided into separate classes for male and female calves.
Young people are not forgotten, with a class especially for those aged 12-16, to encourage them to get involved too.