Grassroots diary: Best Angus bulls ready to lock horns for All-Ireland title
The country's best Angus bulls are battling it out in regional heats with the aim of being crowned overall winner of the Aldi Angus All-Ireland Bull Calf Championship next month.
The competition has a prize fund of €27,000 and has seen an upsurge in entries in recent years: 72 of the finest Irish Angus pedigree bull calves will compete to be crowned best in class in their respective age categories at the grand finals , at the Iverk Show in Piltown, Co Kilkenny on August 24.
The championship is open to all pedigree Irish Angus bulls in three age categories: born between Aug-Oct 18; Nov 18 to Jan 19; and Feb-April 19.
Aldi agreed a new deal earlier this year to continue as the competition's lead sponsor until 2022, with Aldi, ABP Ireland and the Irish Angus Cattle Society investing €100,000 over the next four years.
Irish Angus Cattle Society president John O'Sullivan said: 'Their sponsorship of the championships allows us to promote and reward excellence in Angus cattle breeding in Ireland and we are very appreciative of it."
The Iverk Show is billed as Ireland's oldest agricultural show - it is 193 years old - and attracts thousands each year.
A fund of over €54,000 is on offer in the cattle competition categories.
Other competitions include Macra stock-judging and categories for young cattle handlers.
The All-Ireland Kerry Bog Pony Mare Championship final is also taking place at the show for a second year in a row. A qualifier for the Wexford Sand Welsh Pony Championship for pure and par-bred ponies is a new addition to the event.
Dog classes will also feature, along with fruit and honey contests. Fashion and baby competitions, live entertainment, baking, vintage machinery and car displays mean the event has something for everyone.
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