Described by organizers in the run up to the event as a fun day out with something for everyone, the 117th annual Longford show and country fair surely didn’t disappoint as people gathered in huge numbers to catch all of the action and support one of the country’s longest serving shows.
With glorious sunshine and temperatures averaging 20degrees Celsius on the Plunkett farm in Lisnamuck, this year’s show was easily the biggest one to date.
In the crafts section, there were an abundance of handmade crafts, sweets and treats, while attendees were also treated to some flower arranging, basket weaving and cookery demonstrations in the comfort of the cool crafts tent.
Meanwhile in the livestock section, competition was huge as many looked to get their hands on the thousands of euros worth of prize funds up for grabs.
One farmer who did just that was Athlone based John Barry Moran who not only won four sections on the day with his heifer, such as class 92 and 94, but also the Baby Beef championship which had a €1,000 prize fund and was a new class introduced this year.
His in-calf heifer stole the limelight after John been previously told she would not make the grade.
“I’m delighted.” John told the Leader.
“I was told she would never make the grade. I couldn’t even get a buyer for her last year.” He beamed, delighted with his decision to keep her.
For those not competing and with a love of animals, there was opportunity a plenty to gaze upon some of the many horse riding and show jumping classes at the show, or even pet some Highland cattle and miniature ponies in attendance.
There were 24 competitive sheep showing classes in total at this year’s show, with 28 cookery classes, 18 fruit and veg classes and 4 egg classes, to name a few.
The dog show, as always, drew plenty of attention on the day, however, it was the gig rig which truly kept the masses entertained.
With music from Stuart Moyles and other local artists such as KTG on the day, many gathered to try their hand at set dancing, before the National jiving championship qualifier kicked off, a first for the Longford show.
Under the guidance of Gerard Butler who acted as judge on the day, the chosen winning couple came all the way from Clare, Sean Beck and Caroline Dear, and will now go onto compete at the national championships in the Shearwater hotel in Spring 2020.
With face painting, bouncy castles, fun, games, trade stands, food stalls and plenty of sugary treats, the younger attendees were entertained from all angles.
As the day began to draw to a close, people went home with tired feet, their bellies full and smiles on their faces.
It is 117 years and most definitely going strong for the team of the Longford agricultural show and country fair.
Only twelve months to go until show number 118!