Pedigree Breeder Award – James O’Donovan

The Irish Pedigree Cattle Breeders Awards took place in Portlaoise in February 2024.

The Irish Shorthorn Society selected James (Jimmy) O’Donovan & Family from Gortnamona Herd in Schull, West Cork to receive the award. Congratulations to the O’Donovan family for their contribution to the Shorthorn breed.

In attendance was Jimmy, Linda, & Siobhán O’Donovan (pictured above), Amelda Middleton Leonard – Irish Shorthorn Society President, Council Member Michael Conway, and Society Secretary Shauna Mulhall.

Below is the history of The Gortnamona Herd which was put together by James’ daughter Siobhán.

The Gortnamona herd, situated in Schull West Cork, first registered their Shorthorns in the 1970s. In 1984, Jimmy took over the family farm and continued the Shorthorn bloodlines. Growing up with both his father Jim and twin neighbours of the Whitecastle herd Paddy and Tim O’Donovan, Jimmy attended many agricultural shows exhibiting the dual-purpose breed. The Gortnamona herd keeps both beef and dairy shorthorns utilising all key traits of the Shorthorn- from its milk ability and solids to good bone and muscle structure to the hardiness and docility all combined with the ever sought after colouring.

Jimmy exhibits the Gortnamona herd at many agricultural shows with its most recent success of winning the overall champion shorthorn at 4 out of 5 shows attended in 2023. The highlight for Jimmy’s showing career dates back to 2000, when he attended the RDS Spring Show held in Goff’s. Exhibiting “Gortnamona Rose 4th” sired by FKC Frankford Roseman Prince- who went on to win the Overall Champion Female.

It is a passion which we take pride in continuing to breed 100% shorthorns both beef and dairy. It is important to keep the breed alive. Recently, after obtaining some 100% shorthorn dairy AI straws, from the sire “Bilbro Steven” we had 4 heifers who are now surpassing the British Friesians within our dairy herd.

 

Jimmy O’Donovan with “Gortnamona Rose 4th” winning the overall Champion Female at the RDS Spring Show in 2000.

 

Jimmy O’Donovan with “Gortnamona Pansy 2nd” – Winner of the Overall Dairy Champion at Cork Summer Show.

 

Jimmy amongst his Milking Shorthorn cows.

 

“Gortnamona Star” winning at Carbery show 2023.

 

“Gortnamona Pansy 8th” Winning at Limerick Show – went on to win Overall champion at multiple shows.

 

Shauna Mulhall, Siobhán, Linda & Jimmy O’Donovan, Amelda Middleton Leonard, and Michael Conway

 

Jimmy with Irish Shorthorn Society President – Amelda Middleton Leonard and IFA President – Francie Gorman

 

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