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Showing calf. Young lad very upset

  • 16-07-2022 6:43pm
    Registered Users Posts: 4

    Hi All. Hope you're all well. I don't know if this is the right place for this but I'm sure other parents have been through this. My son is 17 and he is a great kid on the farm. He is friendly with some people showing continental cattle on Facebook and he had a calf born last year and he spent his time training and washing it and money from his part time job buying meal for it. I helped out as its great encouragement to get him keen on stock. He was aiming for Tullamore show and has his heifer entered but he went to a show today and saw cattle same age as his weighing over 120kg more. He is broken and can't see the point in bothering if he'll be last. He fed this calf so well and she is so quiet to walk and very stylish. I know deep down those other animals must be aged wrong but it's not good parenting to encourage cheating.

    Do you have to cheat ages or what to get a rosette? He doesn't want to win the show. I know if he placed well he'd be thrilled as would us and his grandparents.

    After his online lessons he'd be out walking this calf and washing her. He loved it and I'm so proud of him. We followed all the feeding advice and she is a beautiful heifer, well praised by anyone who saw her.

    I don't know what to say to him to cheer him up and spur him on. He isn't a brat. Far from it. Just a hard working sensitive type of lad.




  • Registered Users Posts: 4 JackWaldron1969

    Thanks Patsy. My heart breaks for my son. He says he'd be embarrassed walking his genuine calf around after those monster's and he'll only be laughed at.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,231 ✭✭✭893bet

    Teach him that “an ounce of breeding is better than a tonne of feeding”.

    not all about, not all about winning etc etc. And let him know there are dishonest tactics. No point sugar coating it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,082 ✭✭✭Siamsa Sessions

    There’s some awful blaggards going.

    But 120kg isn’t a huge difference in animals that are 15-16 months old. If that’s the age?

    I’d be wondering if being a new face worked against him too, unless his heifer was bought/bred from one of the inner-circle lads.

    Maybe you could go to another show, without his heifer, and see the standard there. It might give him a chance to be a judge himself. He could compare the animals against each other rather than comparing them against his own heifer?

    Trading as Sullivan’s Farm on YouTube

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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,977 ✭✭✭✭whelan2

    My lad is going to his first show tomorrow . He too has put in alot of work. I don't know how he'll get on but showing the animal is a great experience. You don't have to win . As said above the judges will know the story.

  • Registered Users Posts: 859 ✭✭✭The Nutty M

    I hate that part of the showing cattle side of things. I got out of any interest in showing pure bred Simmental cattle because of exactly what your son quite clearly can see.

    It's rife and blatantly obvious but has been near impossible to stop. The Simmental society tried to bring in a random inspection scheme of any newly registered calf,the blow back was immense which shows how deeply rooted it is.

    It'll be hard to explain to your son to stay on the straight and narrow and not stoop to their level. But I can see his point, nobody wants to be last. The lucky side of Tullamore is the class numbers are fairly big as opposed to local shows. Hence, he stands a better chance of not being placed last.

    If you can at all, do everything to get him to bring the calf and experience Tullamore once. And then let him make up his mind.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,664 ✭✭✭Furze99

    Don't know a lot about showing pedigree animals but it reminds of the shenanigans that go on in county fleadhs for the music and the Irish dancing scene as well. But we still had our kids enter and get something out of the day, even if they knew that others with the right connections would win. Life's unfair but it's the journey that counts as much as the destination etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭Sheep breeder

    Honest has gone out of livestock breeding and showing with a lot of stock in the rushes for two or three months, like one guy near here who had the ai man giving him a repeat service on his pedigree cows for a number of years and always had a strong bull to sell, until he got a cattle inspection from the dept and had to tag all the calves and registered them and over 27 days of age and the cow under 300 day calving and end up having to DNA cow and calf pair at his cost and got a penalty and several inspections since.

    the sheep game is also rotten with ai and embryo jobs all a month before lambing date and the sires now getting caught out by sheep Ireland genomics testing. The young fella should go with his heifer for the experience of showing and might be surprised the way a genuine judge works.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭Still stihl waters 3

    Let him show the heifer, losing is a better lesson than winning

  • Registered Users Posts: 4 JackWaldron1969

    Do ye think he would get fair play as he is a newcomer with no showing connections? My father took him to those youth workshops a few years back and all the poor lad wants now is a red rosette. Even at Christmas he wanted some combs and sprays for the cattle.

    Would the judge not just go for the bigger animal shown by someone they know than give an unknown teenager with a decent calf a chance?

    Ye are all very good to take the time to reply

  • Registered Users Posts: 4 JackWaldron1969

    Hope he does well tomorrow and gets a prize. I know my lad would be thrilled to even get a green or yellow and he'd be elated with red

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,977 ✭✭✭✭whelan2

    I can't go with him tomorrow. He was going to bring 2. Just bringing 1 now and will see how he gets on

  • Registered Users Posts: 391 ✭✭furandfeather

    What age is the animal. A lot of classes are now based on weight or permanent teeth.

    you d often see commercial classes going to a smaller more stylish animal. If he thinks the animal is good enough then bring it out.

    id bring it somewhere else before tullamore anyways, it’s no place to be bringing an animal for the first time

  • Registered Users Posts: 868 ✭✭✭bb12

    i don't know about showing cattle but i used to show horses. i'd go to one show and be placed well down the line and then win at another show with the same horse. so you never know. let him go for a bit of fun and he might get lucky, it all depends on the judge on the day so telll him not to worry if he ends up down the line

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,005 ✭✭✭afatbollix

    Many years ago my brother was doing his horse riding thing and I was bored off me hole at these shows.

    So I entered the dog in as many rounds as I could. She was a mut of many breads. We didn't get anything until the last show when the judge had a good look at her and handed the 3rd to her. As a teenager, it was great to win a 20p rosette. Don't get me wrong nice to get a 3rd but it was great to be involved I did it because I wanted to not because of the thousands-pound dog beside her or the 20 people looking on around the ring.

    Tell him he prob won't win but to learn and gain some experience. We all love to win things but not everyone can win it's one of our life lessons. Even showing up is winning in my mind, How many would want to do it but can't? Try getting him to think of it from that kind of thing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,127 ✭✭✭✭Say my name


    Had a foal once that I was convinced was a show winner. First time showing in my life as a teenager. At that age winning is everything and you've always the best. It came third in a class of four. I was devastated inside that I didn't get red but I was going against breeders who breed for the ring and were at it their whole lives. Mine was a better jumper though.🤣

    It would have ruined me at that age to beat seasoned campaigners.

    Now I never showed since but it was a life lesson worth living. At the end of the day it's not life or death.

    I'd encourage the son to go. But maybe temper their expectations somewhat but while still giving the animal every chance of winning on the day.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 2,668 Mod ✭✭✭✭K.G.

    But isn't this what sport and competing is all about.the set back s the commitment the learning curve and building resilience.he should still go and show and learn from the ther exhibitors and maybe someone might mentor him.people always have more meas on the guy that trys rather the guy that doesn't. Our family are their teens are involved in more conventional sport but they have had their ups and downs but so far they have bounced back.i know it will not be easy but try and get him to go.⁸

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭Sheep breeder

    Recently at the highland show in Scotland the champion commercial heifer was a young Irish bred heifer who won over bigger heifers, but was quality and eye catching, having done a bit of sheep judging at shows myself I always give everyone the same judging and not judging faces, one guy at show always puts his sheep at the top of the line and recently a friend who judges went to the other end for his line up with his winner and left the guy last which was a big shock to him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,263 ✭✭✭✭_Brian

    Doing well is great but the truth is someone has to be last.

    my kids compete allot and they would be focusing on bettering their last outing not beating someone else. If he comes last he will have a point to work from.

    no matter what competition they compete in, including international, last thing I’d say is “enjoy yourself no matter what”. Have your son enjoy the competition for what it is.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,457 ✭✭✭funkey_monkey

    I don't know anything about whether tullamore would be suitable for first time or, but tbh I think it would be worse for him if he done well first time out - would create false expectations for the future and maybe lessen the sense of achievement if it when he does get a good one.

    Wherever he shows just make sure it is a well populated class so the chance of him coming last will be reduced.

    In your honest opinion how do you rate the calf? Is it really a good one worth showing?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,475 ✭✭✭Limestone Cowboy

    My thoughts would be to show the heifer. If she's good enough she's good enough and if she's not she's not. For a newcomer especially it would be a good experience to gauge her against the competition and what's required. Like any sport if you don't throw yourself in the mix you won't have a chance. Judges are funny anyway, my friend has being showing a few commercial lambs all summer that have come first at some shows and second and third at others. Funny thing is it's the same couple of lambs he's been up against all the time and the same people showing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,648 ✭✭✭Hard Knocks

    This is true, also the experience of the show for both handler and animal are a good learning. Don’t make your first day out a big day

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,584 ✭✭✭✭machiavellianme

    That's a nice looking animal

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,977 ✭✭✭✭whelan2

    Ye May born. Not pushed

  • Registered Users Posts: 555 ✭✭✭laoisgem

    Just sent you a PM Jack

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,648 ✭✭✭Hard Knocks

    Was her mother the heifer bought in Carrick, would he think of entering the cow & calf (may mean a job for you)