14th annual Ploughing finals in Kiltoom on Saturday

The 14th annual Roscommon ploughing championships willl be held at the farm of Eamonn and Helen Leonard of Ardmullen, Kiltoom and it promises to be the biggest and best championships held to date due to the number of counties wishing to participate. The event takes place on Saturday next, 19th of April, 2008.     This year’s event will be officially opened by former Roscommon county footballer and Kiltoom resident Gerry O’Malley.    The site provides a large ploughing area, spacious trade stand, viewing area, crafts tent area, children’s amusements and ample parking space alongside.    This event is now the largest county championship taking place nationwide and is only second in size to the national event annually.    This year the two major sponsors are local companies, 1 Base 4 Building       (Joe McCarthy and Shane Curran) and the Hodson Bay Hotel Group.    At the recent launch PRO Donal Haughey listed all the events that would be taking place on the day. Total prize-money for this year’s event will be close to the €10,000 mark. Sponsors were thanked at the launch as their support is greatly appreciated.    There are eight ploughing classes from senior to vintage. Classes will include senior open class, 3 furrow standard, under 21 and under 28, farmerette class for the ladies, 2 and 3 furrow class, horse classes, junior class and vintage class. There will be a plough operated by manpower which is the first time that this will have been tried anywhere.   There will be entertainment of all types including ceili music and old-time waltzing (entertainment by Tom Brady and also by the Clare Ramblers). There will also be amusements for the children including bouncing castles, slides and other attractions.  One novel event in this year’s championship is a manpower pulling event, which will see ten men attempting to pull a plough. The annual ploughing championships in County Roscommon is always a great day out for children and is a very family-friendly event. Apart from getting some fresh air and learning lots about farming, children can also enjoy the many bouncing castles, slides and other attractions on offer.   There will be a special lamb demonstration in connection with the forthcoming Lamb Festival in Roscommon Town and Agri-Aware will also have a special demonstration/display on the day. A whole lamb will be spit-roasted in the open-air by chef Chris Reilly and tasting of the roasted lamb will be at 2 pm.    There will be vintage and horse classes, tractor competitions, and a huge machinery and trade display, sheepdog trials (under guidance of local man Barra O’Brien), dog shows, and a model farm exhibition. The dog show this year will feature a total of 15 classes.    The Roscommon Hunt will stage a chase and time trials on the day. There will be a major craft village display, Tug O’War and many other attractions.    The Rose of the Plough will also be picked on the day and that has been a huge success in recent years.   So there is literally something for all ages at the 2008 Roscommon Ploughing Championships – so make sure that you come along on the day!