Showing at the Royal Three Counties

My experience showing Irish Moiled Cattle at the Royal Three Counties Show 2023

Friday evening

The Three Counties was my first show last year, and I was looking forward to doing it again. Ably assisted again by my son Harry, we set off after the usual rushing about.

We had entered junior and senior female classes and also a couple of young handler classes.


Didn’t have long to wait on Saturday morning until my young handler, Olivia (10) arrived eager to get cattle over to the washing bay for a spruce up. We met two people there who showed such genuine passion for showing cattle and helping others that felt like they were about more than just washing cattle.

First was Steven O’Kane (a professional cattle show prep guy) who admired my junior heifer (Birdwood Gigi) , said he liked a good moile and offered to wash and trim her. Well, what could I say! Thank-you Steven it was great to meet you. The heifer looked just that little bit smarter but still natural. It definitely would give them the ‘edge’ in the ring. Same place next year?

Second people of note at the washing bay were 3 people from the Highland Cattle Society who asked if Olivia would like to get involved in a young handler training class that they were trying to put together. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to get some experience with people who knew what they were talking about and she was happy to get involved. Young handlers were given a wash and prep lesson before being led over to a spare ring for some showing practice. After some advice from the Highland Society on trying to stop Gigi pushing forward too much, Olivia went into the ring.

All was well for a while until Gigi seemed to be getting a bit lively. When I went over to help Olivia was quite upset, and this is where one of the other ladies from the training took control. She told Olivia she was doing great but maybe she would like to take round one of the Highland calves? Olivia agreed as the calf ‘was extremely cute’! After a couple of walks around, she was back with Gigi but assisted by the Highland guy. This went well and ended an overall positive experience for us all.

The young handler class was in a couple of hours and I didn’t want to put any pressure on Olivia after the difficulties of the previous session. After a bit of lunch and a look around Olivia said she would do it if I came in with her. We obviously didn’t place but it felt like we had achieved a great deal.

With the cattle fed and watered we headed off to the stockman’s supper for a lovely meal and a bit of ‘Dad dancing’ with my son to a cracking live band. We got a chance to thank the people who helped make the day a success too.


We were up early on Sunday morning and had the cattle washed and prepared ready for showing at 10.30am in the Any Other Rare Breeds category.

I was disappointed not to place in the senior heifer class — but as the judge said — her behaviour wasn’t doing her any favours. We’ve got some work to do there! But, first place in the junior heifer class meant we were then entered into the championship class where we were awarded reserve

breed champion! We met Mr Dan Bull from the Irish moiled society who then awarded her the Overall Supreme champion sash.

There was another young handler class at 2.30pm and Olivia was back keen to participate. Quite a few of her family and friends had come up so I was really hoping it would go well for her as she went off into the ring on her own. Well, they say “God loves a trier” and it seemed Gigi was behaving herself and as the terrified look left Olivia her confidence grew and she handled the calf and answered the judge admirably. It was great to see so many taking part and there were some very experienced handlers in the class, making the competition tough!

Harry and I then entered the Grand parade at 4pm which is quite a spectacle, with Olivia carrying the “Irish Moiled” board. We got a shout out from Adam Henson on our lovely moiles. Then it was tidy up time, the heavens opened and drenched us all. With the cattle loaded we headed for home.

Overall it was an incredibly enjoyable weekend. Olivia’s mums reported that “she enjoyed washing and grooming and then when Gigi behaved herself she enjoyed walking around showing people how lovely she is”. Olivia also said young handling brought her closer to their farm and her Dad.

Encouraged by some people I met, I actually came home and immediately entered The Hanbury show in Worcestershire which is next Saturday 1st July. Olivia is also keen to do some more handling so we are of to show off our moiles in a couple of classes there.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and that it may inspire you to give showing a go –– you wont regret it!

Hope to see you soon All the best


Huge Thank You to Cian and his helpers to taking the time share their showing story at the wonderful Three Counties Show. Getting Irish Moileds out in the showring is fantastic advertisement not only for the breed but also your herd. Well Cian and team!