Longford gears up for Ploughing 2020 in Abbeylara

Kevin Forde

Reporter:

Kevin Forde

Email:

kevin.forde@longfordleader.ie

Committee members met with ploughing hosts Sylvester & Shane Kiernan at their Ballinacross farm as they 'Ploughed ahead' with site plans for 22nd March. Present l to r were: Gavin White, Luke Casey, B

Committee members met with ploughing hosts Sylvester & Shane Kiernan at their Ballinacross farm as they 'Ploughed ahead' with site plans for 22nd March. Present l to r were: Gavin White, Luke Casey, B

The Novice ploughing and a student workshop will take place in the run up to the main event.

The 35th annual Novice ploughing will take place on Saturday, March 14, in Robinstown, Granard, Co Longford.

This year's event will be hosted by local farmer Charlie Burns and offers a brilliant opportunity to apprentices over 16 years, who hold a valid driving licence, to get a first hand introduction to ploughing.

Attendees can avail of tutoring and guidance from experienced ploughing competitors, all under National Ploughing Association (NPA) rules.

A ploughing judge, hailing from another county and registered with the NPA, will also be in attendance. The best performer on the day will also qualify to compete for County Longford, meaning you could win an opportunity to compete at the National Ploughing Championships in Fenagh, Co Carlow this September.

“This is an opportunity to represent County Longford and it includes convenient parking, free access and VIP status at Europe's largest Agricultural exhibition for three days.” the Longford Ploughing association stated.

“So come along and avail of over 30 years of very successful tutoring experience and perhaps you could add an All Ireland title to your C.V.”

Also read: Granard based Kiernan Milling announced as main sponsors for Longford ploughing 2020

Participants will not only receive invaluable guidance on the art of ploughing and also on competition standards, but also an awareness of tractor safety. Longford’s Eimear Monaghan brought home the silverware back in 2018 and it is hoped that this year’s novice ploughmen/women follow suit.

Just like the student workshop, it was Longford Ploughing members who pioneered the Novice concept back in 1986. Bobbie Connelly, Bernard Jordan and Frances Esler among others were instrumental in running the first event in Ireland. First hosted by Bertie and Edre Mills in Abbeyshrule, it has been organised each and every year since.

The entry fee to take part in the Novice Ploughing, Saturday March 14, is set at €10. The event will run from 12-3pm, with refreshments served on the day compliments of Harriette Stewart and savouries sponsored by Smith's Gala Newtownforbes. Interested parties are advised to book their place early to avoid disappointment, as this is one-to-one tutoring and places are limited. To book your place call Longford Ploughing association secretary Tom on 087 9691176.

This event is being held in the lead up to the main event, Longford Ploughing 2020, which takes place on the farm of Sylvester and Marian Kiernan at Ballinacross, Abbeylara, on Sunday, March 22.

The official launch of Longford Ploughing 2020 takes place today, Wednesday March 04, in Macken’s, Main street Granard town, kicking off at 8:30pm.

“Everyone in the community to join us tonight in Mackens Boomerang Bar. We will reveal details of four exciting events in Granard & Abbeylara.

“Join us to celebrate the launch of Ploughing 2020 with our main sponsor Kiernan Milling and our hosts Syl & Marian Kiernan and family.

“We look forward to meeting all patrons and sponsors for some photos. Food served courtesy of the Granard Inn.”

The deadline for ploughing entries for this year will close on Wednesday, March 18. People can also book a stand at Longford ploughing on Sunday, March 22, by contacting exhibition manager John Maye on 087 784 4208.

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