In September I attended first time in a very special event – The National & World Ploughing Championships. Must admit I found it a very interesting experience. Also, it was a great opportunity to see the best of Irish country’s culture.
The National & World Ploughing Championships is Europe’s largest outdoor event. It returned to Ratheniska in County Laois this year. From September 20th – 22nd the total attendance figures for the 2022 ‘Ploughing’ came to an amazing 277,000 visitors. And with over 1,700 exhibitors it was an incredible success.
The National Ploughing Championships (Irish: Comórtas Náisiúnta Treabhdóireachta) or NPC was previously known as The National Ploughing Championships Machinery & Livestock Exhibition. It is an outdoor agricultural show in Ireland incorporating a ploughing contest. Held every September.
The first Irish inter-county ploughing contest was held between County Wexford and County Kildare. On 16 February 1931 in a 26-acre field at Coursetown in Athy in County Kildare.
Since then, the National Ploughing Championships has expanded to over 800 acres with 1,700 exhibitors. It has been extended beyond displays relating to ploughing, farming, and machinery. And now includes a tented trade village, live entertainment and music, fashion shows, a craft village, cooking demonstrations, sheep dog trials, pony games, and other activities.
With an average of 180,000 spectators, the NPA attendance has grown. From the 3,000 that attended in 1932 to over 280,000 in the 2010s. Today the National Ploughing Championships is a “flagship event in Irish agriculture“. And “the biggest outdoor exhibition and agricultural trade show in Europe“.
National and World Ploughing Championships 2022 had over 1,700 exhibitors at the event.
Features exhibits in; Energy, Forestry, Livestock, Machinery, Construction, Agri Business, Auto Arena, House and Home, Food and Beverage, Health and Wellness, Lifestyle and Tourism, Information Technology, Business, and Education.
The National Championships is now no longer just for ploughing or machinery enthusiasts. The modern event now features something for just about every member of the community.
Some of the best bits at the event were: Machinery Exhibition, Livestock Exhibition, Food Fayre, Celebrity Chefs, Cookery/Craft Demonstrations, Auto Arena, Fashion Shows, Tented Trade Village, Innovation Arena, National Brown Bread Baking Competition, Sheep Shearing, Ploughing Competitions, Live Radio & TV, Pony Games, Hunt Chase, Treshing, Vintage Display, Funfair, Loy Digging, Meggars Competition and much much more.
The Taoiseach and a number of Ministers including Taoiseach Michéal Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar attended the 2022 National (and World) Ploughing Championships. President Michael Higgins officially opens the National Championships and the World Ploughing Contest.
FarmDroid FD20 machine won the prestigious National Ploughing Association Machine of the Year Award 2022.
The FarmDroid FD20 is the world’s first fully automatic robot that can take care of both sowing & weed control.
In the ploughing competition, Eamonn Tracey from Carlow won the overall conventional class. While Wexford man John Whelan won the Reversible Ploughing competition.
Above all The National Brown Bread Baking Competition is a huge attraction at the event. And is run in conjunction with ICA and Aldi.
Also, the National Ploughing Championships event offered picnic areas, a playground, Funfair, and bandstand entertainment to cater to younger visitors. Additionally, three catering blocks on site accommodated in excess of 40 individual catering stands.
The ticket for the National & World Ploughing Championships was 25 euros each.
Probably the largest National Ploughing Association in the world the NPA, will host the National Ploughing Championships in 2023 also in Ratheniska, County Laois on September 19th, 20th & 21st.
For more information visit the official website: npa.ie
Location The National & World Ploughing Championships 2022:
I attended on Day 2 of The National & World Ploughing Championships. I was lucky because the weather was very good. Especially I enjoyed Live Music & Irish Dancing and also the Vintage Display.
Below are my photos that were taken on Day 2 of The National & World Ploughing Championships in September 2022.