Ireland’s premier show and summer event is almost upon us!
People the length and breadth of the country are gearing up for the Tullamore Show & AIB National Livestock Show.
The Olympics is not the only place where prestigious gold medals will be won this year, the Tullamore Show & AIB National Livestock Show will have 21 gold medals on offer, and as far as Irish livestock are concerned, they are the most coveted prize of all (and it is understood the medals are of a higher quality than those awarded at the Olympics!).
While things will be winding down at 2012 on August 12th, there will be a generous supply of Gold medals at the Tullamore Show, however, the pressure will be more likely on Pedigree cattle than on Katie Taylor.
If you have been glued to the Olympics over the past couple of weeks, why not peel yourself from the sofa and see gold medal action in the heart of Ireland.
It is apt that the Tullamore Show will present 21 coveted gold medals on the show’s landmark 21st anniversary. Preparations are now in full swing at the picturesque Butterfield Estate on the outskirts of Tullamore.
Situated on 250 acres of show grounds with 20,000 free car spaces, this years’ show promises to break the phenomenal records achieved in 2011, when over 650 trade stands and 60,000 people attended the major midlands event.
Th 2.5km of steel track has been laid, the exhibition marquees have also been erected, and the show site has undergone its annual transformation.
The event this year will feature a very full programme including over 1,000 exhibitor competitions for a prize fund of €165,000.
These will provide very keen competition in all areas, whether it be in livestock, home industries, dogs, inventions, poultry, best dressed lady, glamorous granny etc etc.
When the eyes of the world bid their final adieu to the Olympics on August 12, they won’t have to go far to see the most coveted gold medals in the agricultural world.
The term is often loosely used, but the Tullamore Show really is the show with something for everyone!
Whether your interest is in sheep shearing, tractor building or celebrity chefs, the major dilemma all attendees will have is to try and see it all.
Irelands’ Premier Show, celebrating its 21st year, is well established as the premier agricultural event within the farming community.
Just as the gold medals have become the coveted prize in the livestock world in Ireland, the parade of champions and the presentation ceremony for the medals, which takes place at approximately 4.30 pm in the livestock area, is one of the highlights of the show.
The livestock breeders in Ireland and beyond regard a win in Tullamore, as the pinnacle of success.
An Irish and international team of judges decide the recipients for these national titles.
Renowned for its innovative and established bloodstock section, the show also boasts some of the most unique horse competitions on this island.
Never a show to rest on its laurels, new and innovative competitions and sections are introduced each year.
In addition to show jumping, there will also be showing, which includes, non-thoroughbreds, Irish Draught, Connemaras, Welsh ponies and cobs, ridden ponies, ridden hunters, working hunters and ponies, Clydesdales and miniatures and finally carriage driving.
This year sees the introduction of a section to target young equine enthusiasts in the family section designed to encourage the more un-experienced.
Classes start at 2:00pm and include; best turned out and lead rein and the grand finale will be fancy dress!
One does not need to be an equestrian to appreciate the spectacle that is the carriage driving, one of the most unique competitions of the show.
New to the schedule this year is a class for light trade turnouts and farm vehicles and implements.
This gives anyone with a horse-drawn vehicle the opportunity to take part in best driving show in Ireland.
It is not merely our four-legged friends who capture the imagination on show day, The poultry section boasts over 500 birds with some of the most unusual and rare breeds.
This year, to house our feathered friends, larger tents have been ordered, and international judges will decide the winner.
Presenting, results and prizes will take place at 4:00pm.
The Show, which is hugely innovative, will further develop the new concept of The Meat Village, which was introduced for the first time last year and has proven to be a huge success.
The theme this year is Producing for the Market (Breeding, Feeding, Health).
This three year project, currently in its second year is developing, in order to incorporate the producer, while also focusing on the processor and consumer.
Demonstrations, industry speakers and presentations will keep the general public and farming community up- to-date to date on all meat market activity, in this educational initiative.
The committee have brought together many of the stakeholders who are involved in the business.
The Meat Village will highlight the links between the quality cattle produced on Irish farms and being processed to the required high standards by our meat companies, for both the demanding export trade and the local market.
Bord Bia, through Neven Maguire (Master Chef) and Sheila Kelly (Food Advisor), will provide demonstrations of simple and practical ways to cook meats in a very appetising way, but the theme of food does not end here.
With 70 classes in total, there is a class for every type of baker, young and old, in the cookery and food section. With over 1000 entries, from every county in Ireland, the marquee on show day really is a sight to behold, with an array of mouth watering delights’ on display.
The cookery and food section boasts 10 sections, with a various number of classes ranging from a pot of jam to novelty sugarcraft.
The vintage section will see some of the most impressive farm machinery and tractors from yesteryear on display. Guaranteed to attract the crowds (and photographers) this year, is the ladies’ tractor building competition all-Ireland heat — an event not to be missed, as they bid to beat the record of 10 minutes.
The competition is revving up, with the All Ireland finals in sight.
Ensure you wear comfortable shoes.
Even those less inclined to compete will not be idle for long on show day.
There are over 650 trade stands exhibiting the best of Irish enterprise.
There are ample catering facilities to please even the most faddy appetite, with 14 restaurants, foodhalls and bars, band stands to entertain the crowds with stage performances from an array of performers from trad to pop and even some ethnic performances, fashion shows and childrens’ amusements, which have always proved popular.
Despite the doom and gloom, agriculture has bucked the trend, performing well despite the many challenges farmers and processors face.
The show is a special place for the farming community, where visitors, children, young and old gather to enjoy the country air and the very best of Irish agriculture and culture.
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