Ardlea/Elite Limousin graciously hosted the National YMA event at Beech Hill Farm, Mountrath, Co. Laois on Thursday evening the 13th of July, 2017. Each of the seven club areas can submit a team to represent their area. This year four club areas held selection events and workshops at which their teams were picked.
The evening began with cattle “judging”. The team at Ardlea had two groups – four heifers and four young bulls for the contestants to judge. With the cattle very evenly matched it was a great test of skill for the youngsters to place them in order.
The next phase was “reasoning”, individually each competitor was required to go before a panel of three judges and give their reasons as to their placing of the four bulls. The three judges were: Tom Hickey (Brookland Herd), Trevor Masterson (Galbally herd) and Clive Jennings (Brooklands herd) – three judges and breeders of note. Tom Hickey, who won this competition in 2009 and went on to represent Ireland to International success, gave a through insight after the competition into the placings of the cattle and his reasons for his placings. Trevor also won international honours, he was a member of the first team to represent Irish Limousin at an Anglo Irish competition – he and his team-mate James Wycherley claimed the top spot. Clive has judged both at Irish and International level.
The final phase was “showing”, at random the competitors were requested to show heifers (consistent with a traditional show) with each required to present to the judges and walk into a line-up. Once this was completed, the youngsters had time to mingle, relax and refresh themselves with the wonderful food and beverages laid on by the team at Ardlea, while the judges and co-ordinators totted up the results.
Paul Sykes announced the results with the Team event going to the South East. This team was made up of Sarah Murray, Sean Maher, Colin Kenny and Niall Jones. In second place was the team from the North East, with the South West in third and the North West in fourth.
- 1st South East: Sarah Murray, Sean Maher, Colin Kenny, Niall Jones.
- 2nd North East: Eleanor Reilly, John Smyth, Brodie Molloy, James Russell.
- 3rd South West: Orla Curtin, Maeve Curtin, Oisin McNamara.
- 4th North West: Evan Gunn, Saoirse Oliver, Conor Gunn.
In the individual competition two cups are awarded – one for the senior (16 years and over) category and junior (under 16). The senior cup went to Orla Curtin (SW), second Niall Jones (SE) and third James Russell (NE).