Conor sweeps up at the summer shows

Paul Beatty, Aughnacloy Co Tyrone, Poultry Judge, pictured  with the Champion Bird of Claremorris 95th Agricultural Show, a  Barred Wyandotte cockerel, owned by Conor Craig, Edgeworthstown Co Longford on right. Photo: � Michael Donnelly
A 12-year-old Edgeworthstown native is sweeping up awards for showing poultry and cattle at some of the top shows in Ireland .

A 12-year-old Edgeworthstown native is sweeping up awards for showing poultry and cattle at some of the top shows in Ireland .

At such a young age, Conor Craig , son of Martina and Derek, is already a regular at some of the most prestigious agricultural shows in the land.

Speaking to the Leader, Conor explains in detail the process one must go through in the run up to a show.

As far as poultry goes, Conor has shown a variety of breeds including Barred Wynadotte, Black Minorcas and Golden Brahmas. For showing poultry, Conor explains, pre-show preparation includes washing the poultry a week to 4 days before the show in baby shampoo and lukewarm water, rinsing with vinegar and drying them with a hairdryer. In the case of the Golden Brahma, the feet must also be carefully washed as they are feathered. Those are just some of the pre-show preparations, with other jobs to do once they arrive. Conor has been hugely successful when it comes to showing poultry, winning Champion Bird of the 95th Claremorris Agricultural Show, Supreme Champion in Athlone and many, many more.

When it comes to cattle, Conor credits George Hagarty, Tom Yorke, James and Jason Teague, Harry Noble, Martin Clyne and Richard Poyntz for their invaluable help.

Conor has now started showing his own two pedigree Angus cattle - Millbawn Katie and Millbawn Kurtis - with his grandfather John Bogan.

As with the poultry, there is a long list of requirements for preparing cattle for a show, which include washing the cattle the night before with fairy liquid, clipping the head, belly, tail and back, washing before and after arriving at the show, drying and soaping them.

Conor has been very successful in the cattle categories, winning at a variety of shows including a first and second at the Athlone show, first, second and reserve champion at Bailieborough, a first and a third in Mullingar and a first at the Tullamore show.

Conor will begin secondary school in the coming days, attending Wilson’s Hospital School. Though it’s early days yet, Conor admits that he would love to be an AI man.

It has been a busy summer for Conor, attending shows including Claremorris, Arva and Tullamore with shows in Trim and Strokestown yet to come. He has even featured in the Farmers Journal but it doesn’t phase the 12-year-old one bit.

Despite the early mornings on the day of a show (as early as 4.30am) and travelling long distances, Conor says he loves what he does, and hopes to continue for the forseeable future.