Athenry Agricultural Show sticks with May date following last year’s success

Having successfully brought forward the show to May last year, Athenry Show Society will hold this year’s event on Sunday, May 27, at the mart grounds and adjoining Teagasc lands at Prospect, Co. Galway.

The classes will include: jumping and equine; livestock; home baking and jams; poultry; a dog show; flowers and floral arrangements; handcrafts; art and photography; crops; and vegetables. There will also be a tented craft fair.

The livestock section includes: sheep incorporating Texel; Suffolk; Charollais; and cross breed; as well as calves including native and continental breeds.

Entering its 129th year this year, the show aims to cater for a broad range of interests.

“The show was only cancelled once as far as we can remember because of Foot and Mouth disease in 2000,” said Mary O’Keeffe, assistant secretary and PRO.

“Over the years when the show was held on the first Sunday in July, the talk beforehand that concerned the committee was of other shows clashing with us, sporting events, the air show and schools closed for holidays – which meant most families from the hinterland took off on holidays at the beginning of the school holiday.

“We continued on and survived. The change of date last year made a big difference,” Mary said.

The organisers introduced a children’s competition area with contests including picking potatoes and turning turf.

On these, Mary noted: “They proved very successful last year and we have added wellie throwing this year. We also have fancy dress events for boys and girls.

“Our art section, sponsored by Raheen Woods Hotel, is confined to first and second year second level schools in Athenry,” said Mary.

We ran cattle classes years ago and decided to start off with calf classes again this year. The Connemara showing classes have increased massively over the last few years.

“We have been very successful with the granting of qualifiers to most sections of the show every year. This year we have the qualifier for the supreme champion of champions ridden hunter, sponsored by Red Mills, for the final of Tattersalls show,  on July 22,” said Mary.

“We are also hosting the senior cooking competition this year,” she said. For more information on the programme, see the athenryagrishow website.