The largest outdoor event in Ireland is set to take place in Ratheniska, County Laois, between the 23rd and 25th September. The National Ploughing Championships will be celebrating its 83rd year and will play host to a range of new and exciting exhibitors in addition to the numerous array of long standing companies who will be showcasing their products and services.
Many valuable and award-winning animals will be on show in the Livestock Arena which has always proved to be a big attraction with visitors to the event. The ploughing competition the strong programme has attracted entries from across the Republic as well as Northern Ireland which brings the number preparing to plough at the County Laois to over 300 for the three days. As many as 30 competitors will be expected to make the trip to Ireland from 10 different countries around the world to take part in the European Vintage Ploughing Championships that will also take place at the site in Laois.
The Championships will be sub divided into two main aspects, a tented trade village and a machinery and livestock exhibition. The event will also play host to an auto arena, a bio-energy village and a forestry village. In recent years the National Ploughing Association have put together a very comprehensive lifestyle arena for visitors which includes fashion shows, cookery demonstrations, seminars by the Irish Countrywomen’s Association as well as craft workshops, retail outlets, health, leisure, vacations, education, home and garden.
Ireland’s well known cuisine capabilities will be showcased at the food pavilion with many artisan Irish food producers and cottage industries taking part. The second aspect, the national ploughing finals, involve 300 competitors from all over Ireland and some visiting countries competing in many different ploughing competitions to win national titles and qualify for world, European and other international competitions.
A diverse social programme includes a competitive horse speed trial, the hunt chase, sheep dog trials, sheep shearing, meggars, sheaf tossing, vintage machinery demonstrations, fashion shows, most appropriately dressed lady and gent competitions and the best of traditional Irish music and country music all day.