Granard Show works to make a name for itself

With last year’s event attracting record numbers, the organising committee of the 68th annual Granard agricultural show is hoping for even bigger success. It will be held at Higginstown Park, Granard, Co. Longford, on Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21.

A highlight will be the Non-pedigree Suckler Cow and Calf Championship, with a prize fund of €2,000, sponsored by Axa Insurance. The top prize is €800, with a sash for both the cow and calf. The final will be held at 3:00pm.

In the cattle section, there will be €350 for the supreme champion of the show and €150 for the reserve champion. There will also be a competition for the best heifer likely to make suckler cow, other than purebred, with first prize at €250. There will also be €100 for the commercial cattle champion.

The overall ‘champion of champions’ accolade will be awarded to the exhibitor attaining the highest points in the cattle section. First prize will be €500, with the runner-up receiving €150, sponsored by Paul Belton Midland Agri Consultant, Granard.

New classes

New to the show this year will be working hunter classes; a side saddle class; show pony classes; and Connemara classes. Highland cattle, Hamish and Henry, will be on display. A dog show will take place at 2:00pm.

There will be €100 for the champion brood mare and €100 for the champion young horse. There will also be €100 for the champion sheep of the show.

There will also be bouncing castles; face painting; a vortex tunnel; and trade stands.

Horse jumping show

The horse jumping show will be held the following day at 11:00am, with a total prize fund of €1,400. The six-bar competition ‘winner takes all’ offers €500 and a perpetual trophy.

Secretary Hazel McVeigh said the show committee is working to ensure that the Granard show builds on years gone by, raising class numbers and making a name for itself as one of the best in the midlands.

Last year was the first time in a considerably long time that the show ran over two days and it was a huge success, with sponsorship boosting interest, she said.

Non-Pedigree Suckler Cow and Calf Championship

Continued sponsorship support this year has ensured that Granard can host the Non-pedigree Suckler Cow and Calf Championship final, the only one of its kind in Ireland, Hazel said.

“Without sponsorship, it would not be viable for a small show like us to run with this class,” she said.

“In our clubhouse we will have crafts; knitting; crochet; flowers; vegetables; eggs; and turf. Then we also have the schools’ competition which is run by our local librarian. It is a great initiative to get the kids to take part in our show and showcase some of their writing and artwork,” Hazel said.

“At the end of the day, the young people coming up are what we need to get involved in any local show, if we are to have shows in existence in years to come. We need to bring as many young people on board and get them involved in helping at our local shows if shows themselves are to withstand the test of time.

Part of the community

“The show is without a doubt a huge part of the community. Everyone rallies around on the days leading up to and during the show.”

Gerry Tully who chairs the show committee said that the event is enjoying renewed interest.

We went through hard times during the recession. Now we have a small committee and have got the show back to where it belongs, with unique competitions.

“None of this would be possible without sponsorship. It’s down to our sponsors and the local community. We have great support from the GAA club; the mart; the county council; local businesses; and local people. It’s a locally produced show with massive help from the local community.”