The country’s most prestigious farming event takes place in Tullamore shortly. Farmers the length and breadth of the country are gearing up for the Tullamore Show for which preparations are now in full swing.
The Tullamore Show and AIB National Livestock Show, takes place on August 12 at the picturesque Butterfield Estate on the outskirts of Tullamore. Situated on 250 acres of show grounds with 20,000 free car spaces, this year’s show promises to break the phenomenal records achieved in 2011 where over 650 trade stands and 60,000 people attended the major midlands event. The show committee are well prepared for the elements and last week saw the first of the 2.5km of track being laid.
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. 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 this year is well established as the Number One agricultural event within the farming community.
The AIB National Livestock Show will feature Gold Medal Championships for the breed champions. The Gold Medals have become the coveted prize in the livestock world in Ireland. The Parade of Champions and the presentation ceremony for the gold and silver medals which takes place at approx. 4.30pm 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 the 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 & 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 was a huge success. The theme this year is Producing for the Market (Breeding – Feeding- Health).
Bord Bia through Neven Maguire (Master Chef) and Sheila Kelly (Food Advisor) will provide demonstrations of simple and practical ways to cook the meat 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 & Food Section boasts 10 sections with a variety of classes 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. This year, the Vintage section will hold a Lady’s Tractor Building Competition – an event not to be missed.
Ensure you wear comfortable shoes, for 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 all things Irish and Irish Enterprise. There are ample catering facilities to please even the most faddy appetite, band stands to entertain the crowds, music performances, fashion shows and children’s amusements which have always proved popular.