Matty Connell with Key Belton for Midland Agri Consultants Ltd with Chairman Gerry Tully. Photo: Michelle Ghee.
The Granard Agricultural show, July 21-22, will make an eagerly anticipated return to Higginstown in Granard.
Although the show will be staged on the usual showgrounds, a new aspect of day two will feature on the farm of Patrick Durkin and his family, who recently played host to the Longford Ploughing championships.
“For the first time the Granard show will take place on the field known as the ‘field over the road’,” Patrick told the Leader.
The field lies adjacent to the showgrounds itself and will play host to the newly introduced working hunter classes. Patrick says ground conditions are faring very well ahead of the 68th annual outing.
He said, “It is a great site. It actually used to be the entrance to the old Higginstown estate.
“It is adjacent to the showgrounds, So we are delighted to help out,” he told the Leader.
Continuing he said, “We are hosting the horse class there. It will be a lovely spectacle and we are looking forward to seeing them perform there.
“It is just great to be able to help out, they are welcome to it any time.”
Day one of the show will be focused on the livestock portion of the show, with day two all about the equine variety. The main class for equine enthusiasts to look out for is a newly introduced Horse jumping show ‘6 Bar competition - winner takes all’.
This has a prize fund of €1,400, with the winner getting their hands of a €500 cash prize and the perpetual trophy.
“The show is getting bigger and bigger and going from strength to strength every year, it’s amazing really,” said Patrick.
"They have an All-Ireland class as well this year, which will draw people from far and wide.
“It is big prize money, so it will be sure to attract some big breeders,” he said in reference to the cow and calf championship introduced this year.
Also introduced this year is a side saddle competition, with the horse portion of the show taking place on Sunday, July 21, and the fun doesn’t end there either. This year’s show will feature the usual abundance of trade stands, food stalls, crafts, livestock, animals, fun, games, music and dancing.
Committee chair Gerry Tully said, “We have cattle, horse and sheep classes, arts and crafts, photography, amusements, trade stands, there is literally something for everyone, young and old.
“There is a good variety. We have good entertainment for the kids as well, with bouncy castles and amusements.
“It is not everyday that you can go and see a variety of different animals,” He said before adding, “We get great support from the town too.”
Competitive classes over the course of the two day show will feature classes in cattle, horses, ponies, sheep, poultry, crafts, cookery, vegetables, photography & art, while there will also be a junior section, a schools competition and a dog show , the latter of which kicks off at 2pm.
Prizes will also be given out on the day for the best dressed lady and most appropriately dressed gentleman. Judging will commence from early afternoon, with winners announced from 2:30pm - so make sure to get the glad rags good and ready! People can also try their hand at guessing the weight of a bullock, if not get their faces painted or have a rummage in some of the many stands.
“Hopefully the crowds will come out and support it again for another year,” Gerry Tully remarked.
“People come for a great family day out and that’s what it’s all about,” he concluded.