Strong competition at this years Ashbourne Meats Limousin Cow Carcass Event
Entry to the 2015 Irish Limousin/Ashbourne Meats Cow Carcass Competition was just short of the 300 mark. Cows were slaughtered over three days and results were announced on Tuesday 3rd February with the presentation of prizes at the Ashbourne Meat factory in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. This annual competition is open to pedigree cull cows and commercial Limousin cross cows. It is aimed at rewarding breeders for producing high quality cows and focuses on developing a sales outlet between Limousin breeders and Ashbourne Meats.
Limousin is known as the carcass breed due to its ability to consistently deliver good confirmation, high kill out rates, lean carcasses and a very impressive meat to bone ratio. What has the Limousin breed to offer the consumer? Quite simply plenty of quality, tasty lean meat.
A premium price per kilo was awarded to cows provided the required spec was achieved (carcass weighing over 350kgs, fat score less than 5 and grade higher than R-). The price paid for top grade E cows was €4/kg, reducing to €3.90/kg for U grade and €3.80/kg for R grade. A 10c/kg premium was payable for all cows with a pedigree cert. A healthy prize fund totaling €2,000 was up for grabs for the top seven cows in the pedigree and commercial sections with the first prize winner in each section receiving €400.
Henri Hoffman judged this year’s competition. Henri, the French purchaser of these cows trades cow beef to buyers in Paris through the Rungis market. As Henri previously explained Irish bred cows have a stronger selling point than the French cow with some buyers in this market due to their grass based diet.
The prize winning carcasses from both sections were displayed for all attendees to see ahead of the presentation of awards. Also on display were carcasses grading E to O on the EUROP grading system. The difference in confirmation between E and O grade carcasses was vast.
Galway breeder Michael Stephens scooped the top spot in the commercial cow section with a cow grading U+4- and weighing almost 554kgs deadweight. Michael also picked up the overall prize and was awarded the John O’Grady Memorial Trophy for doing so.
John and Michael Stephens pictured with their first prize Limousin commercial cow carcass and overall winning carcass of the competition
Garreth Behan came out top in a very competitive pedigree cow section. Garreth’s cow had a very impressive deadweight of 600kgs and graded E-4+. It proved to be a very successful day for the Laois breeder with a total of three placings in the two sections, as he achieved 5th place in the pedigree section and 6th place in the commercial section – not a bad day’s work!
Garreth Behan pictured with his first prize pedigree Limousin cow carcass
Pedigree Cow Section Winners 1st Garreth Behan 2nd John Culbert 3rd James Good 4th Ivor Stephens 5th Garreth Behan 6th John McInerney 7th William Smith
Limousin Commercial Cow Section Winners 1st Michael Stephens 2nd Dovea Genetics 3rd Patrick McKeown 4th Michael Stephens 5th John Cleary 6th Garreth Behan 7th John Culbert John O'Grady Memorial Trophy Winner – Michael Stephens
Mary O’Grady presenting the John O’Grady Memorial Trophy to John and Michael Stephens, also pictured Nóirín O’Grady, Éabha Stack, Síle Stack and Cian Stack
The Irish Limousin Cattle Society would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who participated and assisted in this event.