AIB speaks to Blonde d’Aquitaine breeder John Barry Moran in Athlone as he prepares for the AIB National Livestock Show in Tullamore.
Blonde d’Aquitaine breeder John Barry Moran reveals his preparation for the AIB National Livestock Show in Tullamore
TUCKED away in a picturesque part of Athlone, preparations for the AIB National Livestock Show start months beforehand on the Moran farm.
Home to Blonde D’Aquitaine breeder, John Barry Moran, the Westmeath native first set his sights on entering the show as a young child. One of three children to Jimmy and Helen Moran, John Barry was always an avid animal-lover and attended the show with interest from his school-days.
”I grew up here with my father building up the farm and I had an interest straight away. I always loved the outdoors and working with cattle and sheep,” he explained.
“My first memory of the show is going as a child with my parents for a day and really being amazed at the size of the cattle and the quality that was there.
“I knew I wanted to be in that parade ring. I was hooked from then.”
Now a regular in the parade ring, John Barry says preparation is key to impress the judges on the day. He explains: “A couple of months beforehand, you start to get the cattle used to walking and to being around people.
“It gets more intense closer to the show, you wash and clip the cattle more frequently. On the day of the show, you start around 4am and get all the cattle loaded onto the trailers and over to Tullamore.
“We wash and dry them there before we start the prep for the show ring, with soaps and gels to get their hair spiked up ready to impress the judges. We use different soaps to complement the shades and hair-set sprays afterwards to keep the hair in place once we have the gel in it. ”
The winner in the AIB National Livestock Show Blonde D’Aquitaine Champion class at last year’s AIB National Livestock Show, John Barry is one of many breeders who attends the show each year.
“Success at the show means everything. It’s the one thing you look forward to in the year. When you wake up in the morning after the show you’re thinking about what cattle you want to put into it next year”.
“It’s really paying back for the work you do over the year. It’s very satisfying.”
With work continuing over the past 12 months to prepare for this year’s AIB National Livestock Show on August 9th, John Barry says it’s hard to predict who will win on the day.
“You always hope to win the top prize but you never know what might come out of the woodwork on the day to take that away from you. But taking part is worth the effort”.
John Barry adds: “To win at the AIB National Livestock Show is the top award of the year. You can’t do better than that.”
Watch John Barry’s preparations for the show below: