The national plowing championships start tomorrow with 300,000 spectators enjoying the autumn sun with temperatures reaching 19ºC.
The Ratheniska, Co. Laois event is back for the first time in three years after the annual event was canceled due to Covid.
Opening day visitors will enjoy a continuation of the current beautiful enchantment, with temperatures reaching a high of 19ºC.
Wednesday should see similar temperatures and while Thursday morning may rain, temperatures are expected to be mild again.
Anna May McHugh,
Executive Director of the National Plowing Association, now in her 80’s and has been involved with the event since she was 17. After the forced break of the last few years, there is a “huge amount of catching up to do” for a return.
“We haven’t had any plowing championships in the last three years, so I expect we’ll get close to 300,000 visitors over the three days,” she said.
“There is tremendous interest in plowing, especially this year as the event has not been held for three years and we are hosting the 67th World Plowing Contest.
“We have 26 participating countries with two participants from each country. They even come from New Zealand, Canada and Australia. They compete on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
“The world event was supposed to take place in August in St. Petersburg, Russia, but of course that couldn’t happen. The World Plowing Board asked if Ireland could hold it and I’m the Irish representative so we said yes.
“That was mid-March and it usually takes two years to prepare. But we did it. The last time the World Plowing Competition was held in Ireland was in 2006.
“It’s a huge revenue stream for the economy. All hotels and guesthouses are fully booked. There are so many distributors and Enterprise Ireland attracts potential buyers.
“Visitors see attractions such as the Irish Government Village, a variety of exhibitions, cattle ranching, pony games, the Irish Countrywomen’s Association hosting cooking demonstrations, fashion shows with boutiques…
“Almost every imaginable product is on display. There are also new machine types and prizes for the best of the machines on display.”
Ms McHugh said the event draws people from towns and cities across Ireland – not just those from farming backgrounds. She described it as a “fabulous day out for the family”.
“It’s a very important event,” she said. “Our Minister of Agriculture and the Taoiseach will be in attendance and will no doubt be asked many questions about the energy crisis.
“But it is important that our politicians mingle with the people. I expect this to be a great event, but my main wish is that people enjoy it and come home safely afterwards.”
Tickets (€25) are available on the National Plow Association website.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/ploughing-championships/sun-looks-set-to-shine-as-national-ploughing-championships-return-after-three-year-break-41999132.html National Plowing Championships 2022: weather forecast – the sun will shine as the championships return after a three-year hiatus