Prospective exhibitors for the 2022 National Ploughing Championships can now book their stands for the event – the first time in three years in which exhibitors will be present.

The National Ploughing Association (NPA) said this morning (Tuesday, March 22) that the exhibition portal is now open. Hopeful exhibitors are encouraged to book early to avail of ‘early bird’ rates.

Details on how to book can be accessed through the NPA website.

The “largest outdoor event on the Irish calendar” is set to take place this year in the familiar venue of Ratheniska, Co. Laois from September 20 to 22.

In the last two years – 2021 and 2020 – only the ploughing contest took place with a very limited number of other participants beside competitors, and no spectators or patrons, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The last full event was in 2019, which was also the largest ‘ploughing’ to date, with an attendance of almost 300,000 across three days.

According to the NPA, there is “already an incredibly positive reaction from exhibitors, patrons and visitors alike” for this year’s event.

The association said that companies are anxious to get back trading, and people are keen to do business again.

Anna May McHugh, managing director of the NPA, said: “I’m delighted to be in a position today to announce that the trade exhibition portal for this year’s National Ploughing Championships is now open following a large volume of enquiries and requests from all over the country and significant international interest.”

McHugh added: “The NPA continues to make a determined effort to improve exhibitor and visitor experience alike, and this year will see the biggest area to date allocated to exhibition and demonstrations.

“The NPA’s core mission is to create a pleasant, friendly and vibrant place for people to meet and do business and this is always our priority,” the association’s managing director said.

The NPA has established an exhibition team to assist prospective exhibitors prepare for this year’s event.