Irish Moiled breeders, Brian and Annemarie O’Kane, owners of the Ravelglen Irish Moiled herd, kindly offered to host the Irish Moiled Cattle Society’s open day at their farm in Martinstown, Co Antrim, in conjunction with the annual general meeting and an informal judges’ seminar.
The Irish Moiled Cattle Society are indebted to Brian and Annemarie for their hospitality and everyone that was involved in making the event such a resounding success.
The day began with the judges’ seminar led by a panel of judges of society directors, Chris Ball, Philip Mellor and Robert Boyle and Republic of Ireland classifier Paul Boal.
The seminar was designed for members and non-members who are interested in building their knowledge of the Irish Moiled Breed and who would consider becoming a judge in the future.
The cattle were split into groups depending on their age.
All those who registered for the seminar had the opportunity to assess and place the animals in each group from first to last.
The master judges then lead a discussion with the group as to why the animals had been placed the way they had placed them.
It certainly made everyone think, but generally everyone was in agreement with the top two each time.
The cattle in the Ravelglen Herd behaved impeccably throughout the day and didn’t mind in the least bit that their home had been invaded by over 100 visitors.
Eamonn Higgins, owner of Hot Milk Forge, held blacksmith classes during the day. Participants got to learn the traditional skills used in Blacksmithing and got the opportunity to weld by fire.
The facilities, supervision and experience that Eamonn provided was second to none.
Various other demonstrations were continuous during the afternoon including traditional bow making by Caillin O’Kane.
Also there was Slate Art, a Model Farm Display, Fairy Houses, Face Painting and a display of vintage tractors and classical cars that all added to a fantastic afternoon’s entertainment.
Chef Stephen Taylor-Winter held a captive audience as he gave talks and demonstrations on the best way to cook Irish Moilie Beef dishing out samples which everybody thought was delicious.
Mary McCarthy and her helpers gave everyone a taste of an Irish home and just like home, the soda bread farls were disappearing as fast as they were being made.
It was lovely to see so many directors, members and supporters from all over the UK and Republic of Ireland at the annual general meeting.
Society chairperson, Nigel Edwards referred to the Director’s Report for the year 2015 stating that the society had another very busy and successful year, thanking all the directors, office bearers and members for their hard work and input throughout the year.
A special thanks was paid to retired president Ian Simpson and previous company secretary Gareth Acheson for their time in office.
The society chairperson concluded by wishing John Stronge, the newly appointed president and David Ross, the newly appointed company secretary, well in their role.
All was then handed over to the new society president John Stronge to conduct the official business of the AGM, who finished off by giving a few words on how far he felt the breed had progressed since the 1970s when there were only 30 breeding females left in the world.
Robert Boyle, the vice-chairperson, then paid special thanks to all the sponsors and everyone who had supported the event.
The hosts then provided a fantastic barbecue using nothing but the best…. home reared Irish Moilied Beef followed by simply irresistible desserts.
The day was to finish off with an incredible ballot. The prizes that had been donated were tremendous and again the Irish Moiled Cattle Society would like to thank everyone who donated prizes.