Despite a wet start early in the morning, the crowds had flocked early to the Ratheniska site of the National Ploughing Championships.
Spread over 800 acres, the site played host to visitors from early as 7.30am, with hundreds of people milling into the site and the official count for the day was 82,000. It’s very similar to last year’s opening day, when 81,000 people visited.
The President Michael D. Higgins officially opened the show, saying he has always enjoyed his visits to the event. “These three days are a wonderful occasion on which people from all the counties of Ireland mingle, discuss their achievements and concerns and, of course, admire the skills of our contesting ploughmen and women.”
He also said that agriculture is a cornerstone of Ireland’s society, economy and identity. “All of you here know this special place that the land and its care, and so many aspects of rural Irish life, hold in our history and our hearts.” He also highlighted that 2014 is the International Year of Family Farming and enabling young farmers to access the land they need to make a living in agriculture is perhaps the greatest of all challenges for the future of family farming in Ireland.
Results from today’s ploughing: