Sheepshearer Kevin Baxter taking part in the sheep shearing competition at a previous Mullingar Agricultural Show.

All systems go for Mullingar Agri Show

Missing from the summer schedule for the last two years due to the Covid restrictions, Mullingar Agricultural Show is back on, at the Cullion showgrounds tomorrow Sunday, July 10, with "the queen of the plough", Anna May McHugh, performing the official opening at 2pm.

Ms McHugh is director of the National Ploughing Association. Her presence is just one of many attractions are planned to make this a real family day out. The Mounted Garda Unit will be there giving a display on horseback. Declan Nerney and Ray Dolan are providing the musical entertainment. There will be line dancing and a competition for ‘the most appropriately dressed person’ at the show.

Among the attractions that always prove popular with spectators and participants alike, there will be a sheep shearing competition and dog show and much more.

Top of the bill on the entertainment side is singing star Declan Nerney, who is to perform on stage from 3pm to 5pm, while later entertainment will be provided by Ray Dolan.

“We have lots of entertainment there for the kids,” says Paddy.

There is also extensive on-site catering, and a large number of trade stands – and of course the chance to see lots of animals, enjoy the showjumping and check out the entries in the fruit, flowers, vegetables, baking and craft classes.

On the competitions side, the usual livestock categories apply, but there are some new classes of note that are guaranteed to garner a fair degree of interest:

“We have an All-Ireland for Belclare and we have the national show for Jacob sheep,” says Paddy.

There are also several qualifiers – including one for the All-Ireland Irish Angus Bull Calf Championship and for the Angus ‘Tread na hÉireann’ event at Iverk Show; there is also a qualifier for the All-Ireland Non-Pedigree Suckler Heifer Championship.

Mullingar is also one of the shows selected as a location for the Department of Agriculture championship for four or five star continental breeding heifers, for which there is a prize fund of €750.

‘Beef to the Heel’

An important feature in the schedule is the annual Mullingar ‘Beef to the Heel’ championship.

Activity will begin on the field from around 8.30am, and different competitions begin from around 10am, starting with the pony and horse showing classes.

Judging finishes around 1.30 or 2pm in the garden shed where the garden produce, cookery and crafts classes are displayed, and the sheep shearing takes place at 2pm.

“That competition has got very popular in the last number of years,” says Paddy, adding that for the sheep shearing event, entries are taken on the day.