I had spent €203,000 by 9.30am, and ploughed on

We sent Denis Lehane to the Ploughing Championships with an imaginary €1m to spend

My eight-year-old son, Robert, would have had no difficulty spending €1m. He had a plan — buy 20 John Deere tractors, and a pet lamb with the change.

He likes lambs, but not as much as he likes John Deere tractors. It would take me a little longer to spend the Lotto win.

My first port of call was to the Finning CAT heavy-machinery stand.

Here, I met Enda Eiffe, sales development manager with Finning Ireland.

First, he showed me the telescopic handler.

With me needing to paint a few hard-to-reach sheds at home, I said I would take it. Price: €68,000.

However, from the moment I arrived at the stand, my eyes had been fixed on the hydraulic excavator.

With there always being excavator work on a farm, this was really the machine I had come to buy: price tag, €135,000.

I had spent €203,000, and it was still only 9.30am.

Having seen contractor Michael Allen’s McHale Fusion round-baler in action on my farm over the summer, I figured having my very own would make perfect sense.

At the Ploughing, McHale launched their new Fusion 3. At €66,000, how could I not buy it?

I have a New Holland on the farm at home and am happy with it. So I went in search of a powerful tractor to pull my exciting Fusion 3 baler.

New Holland area manager, Brian Magee, told me all about the T7 200. With a standard 155 horse power, and a boost that would take you to 200 horses when you needed it, it was exactly what I needed. Price €77,000.

With my silage needs and drainage work taken care of, I came across some granite fountains.

The rippling water had a calming effect on me, so I picked up a beautiful, two-metre, three-tier fountain for a bargain price of €1,450.

Past the €350,000 mark, Robert and I took a break and had a bite to eat.

Passing the Peugeot stand, we were stopped in our muddy tracks by a beautiful, all-white Peugeot RCZ sports car. My arm was easily twisted by Peugeot Ireland marketing manager, Emma Toner. The car cost a cool €38,350. But with a discount of €500 on offer for IFA members, I snapped it up for €37,850. It’s a beautiful car, clearly not for a farmer, but ‘twas my missus I had in mind for this one.

Now, I took a sharp left, and headed for the animals. I have always had an eye for Herefords, and my ambition has been to have an all-Hereford suckler herd.

I met Niall O’Mahony, of Irish Hereford Prime, and by his side was former rugby star, John Hayes, a great supporter of the Hereford breed.

Niall told me a great deal about the quality of Hereford meat.

And I also met Co Monaghan Hereford breeder, Nigel Heatrick. We formed a scrum, and the outcome was that I agreed to purchase a purebred Hereford bull and a herd of about 30 cows. Price €60,000.

Before I left the stand, I enjoyed a very tasty Hereford burger — a tasty deal for sure.

With my shopping almost done, I turned a corner and came upon the awesome sight of the Case Axial-flow 7230 combine harvester, a machine so magnificent that I cannot adequately put the words together. I had to have it, regardless of the price, and I don’t do tillage. It would drive the neighbours mad, and that would be good enough for me. Price tag: €320,000.

I had now spent over €930,000, including VAT, and it was an easy task to distribute nearly €70,000 to the many stands at the Ploughing representing noble charities.

And, with my final €200, I would purchase a few toys for the gang back home.

With my money gone, I realised I never got round to purchasing a plough.

Ah well, perhaps next year.

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