All eyes on Ploughing event

NEXT month’s National Ploughing Championships will stage Ireland’s only full livestock exhibition in 2007, after Sunday’s Tullamore Show and AIB National Livestock Show was cancelled due to floods.

Pedigree cattle and sheep associations use the Ploughing to promote their finest animals. Some use the event for competitive shows, while others use it more for meeting clients.

The loss of the Tullamore Show leaves events such as the Ploughing on September 25 to 27 in Annaharvey, Tullamore, Co Offaly, and the National Dairy Show in Millstreet, Co Cork, on Saturday, October 20 dominating the 2007 livestock show schedule.

Tullamore was expected to attract more than 50,000 visitors, but had to be called off due to torrential rain.

At their venue just a few miles away the Ploughing Championships organisers will hope for better luck in a year when the weather has hit agricultural events hard, with the third day of Britain’s Royal Show a notable loss.

This year’s Ploughing will include a bioenergy village with a willow and miscanthus trial plot.

New on the exhibitor list is the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Northern Ireland.

The first ever Irish Stihl Timbersports Series, the Land Rover Terrapod off roading show and Austrian Schuhplattler folk dancers will also feature.

In 2008, Farmley, Cuffesgrange, will be Co Kilkenny’s first Ploughing venue since 1986.

* It’s all systems go for Virginia Show in Co Cavan, Wednesday, August 22, where most of the venue is under tarmac, and the cattle area is graveled.

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