Brian Duignan with his heifer Shancorpoll 1 Uakea festooned in awards at Tullamore .

Tullamore judges agree Cornafean heifer is ‘special’

Attention has already turned to next year’s competitions for Brian Duignan after his heifer Shancorpoll 1 Uakea was crowned overall Hereford supreme champion at the Tullamore Show earlier this month.

Born in April 2021, she went on to win three competitions at the show, including the overall Hereford heifer prize.

From Cornafean, Brian said it was clear from early on the heifer had “something special”.

“She’s a home bred heifer off our own cow, Shancorpoll 1 Naomi. We noticed something special about her as a calf. Myself and my father Seán brought her to a few local shows where she did well.

“More people noticed that she was doing well and that she’d be a promising heifer in the future.”

That “something special” phrase has an air of “you know it when you see it” and for the untrained eye, a heifer might just be a heifer. But for Brian, there’s plenty that sets Shancorpoll 1 Uakea apart.

“I suppose her back breeding is very good. We started with one cow from the Corlismore herd. That one cow has bred several lucky cattle for us in the shows, and breeding as well. Nearly all our cattle from her have been show cattle.

“Just the way she carries herself, her colour, her head. She’s just very correct and very straight, you know? She has all the good Hereford characteristics.”

For Brian and others like him, competitions like that in Tullamore are a good way to get notice for what is often a small herd.

“We’re breeding Herefords the last 10 years. We’re small breeders and it’s nice to see your work being noticed. To get to that level now is a big achievement for a small herd.”

The hard work by Brian, his father Seán, wife Lorraine and children Eabha, Ella and Seán well and truly paid off. Their help won fierce praise from Brian.

Despite winning the top prize in Tullamore a few mere weeks ago, attention has already turned to the 2023 competitions. Help for those may be on hand with a recent new arrival.

“Her mother calved yesterday with a heifer. Maybe we’ll be in the show ring again next year,” quips Brian, “We’re looking forward to the show season in 2023.”