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The 2022 National Ploughing Championships — A Day Out For All The Family


It’s that time of year again, when wellies are washed, tractors get polished, and the country’s best bakers dust off their beloved bread recipes. This year’s National Ploughing Championships will take place in Ratheniska, County Laois over three days, from Tuesday 20th September to Thursday 22nd September.

We’re big fans of ‘the ploughing contest’ here in An Post Insurance, and many of us have great memories of attending the event in bygone years. Organisers are expecting some 80,000 people in Ratheniska this September, so it’s bound to be one of the highlights of the Irish calendar. Not sure what to expect? Let’s take you on a whirlwind tour of the country’s biggest (and most popular) agricultural show.

2022 National Ploughing Championships | Farm Insurance | An Post Insurance

Almost a Century of History

The National Ploughing Association tells us that the first ever inter-county ploughing contest took place in 1931 as a result of an argument between two lifelong friends: Denis Allen of County Wexford and JJ Bergin of County Kildare. Each argued that their respective counties had the best ploughmen, resulting in a challenge that has grown into what we now know as the National Ploughing Championships.

A World-Wide Audience

This year Ireland is fortunate to host the 67th World Ploughing Contest. Competitors and supporters from 28 countries are expected to attend the competition to see who will be crowned ‘World Champion’. Hosting this renowned event is a great privilege for Ireland, and a remarkable    opportunity to showcase the best of our country’s culture.

An Array of Machinery

As always, there will be an impressive array of agricultural and plant machinery on display at this year's championships. Visitors can marvel at the very latest agricultural technology and admire the most cutting-edge equipment in action. The machinery demonstration area opens at 9am each day of the competition and is always guaranteed to draw in a crowd.

Award-Winning Livestock

Of course, it’s not all about machinery. What would a farm be without its four-legged residents? Visitors can expect to see a remarkable display of excellent quality livestock at this year’s event.  Attendees can admire award-winning cattle, pigs, and other farm animals, and also take the opportunity to learn about livestock management, genetics, nutrition and healthcare — from the nation’s leading experts.

Irelands Very Own Bake-Off

Ploughing Contest | Farm Insurance | An Post Insurance

Baking connoisseurs across the country have been perfecting their brown bread recipes ever since the National Brown Bread Competition was launched on 20th June 2022. With a first prize of €15,000, there’s sure to be a lot of excitement during these live baking competitions taking place at 9.30am each day, with winners announced at 2.30pm. Don’t worry if you miss your chance to taste the judge’s choice at the festival — the winner’s brown bread is set to be stocked in all 150 ALDI stores nationwide.

Live Music & Irish Dancing

From duets to jigs, all the way to country music, line dancing, and céilí sessions, the bandstand is where you’ll find the best rí rá agus ruaille buaille. Some of Ireland’s leading musical stars will be performing, along with the Irish Prison Officers Pipe Band, who’ll serenade the crowd on the opening day. For a full list of all the music, entertainment and events on offer, check out the official programme here.

As well as all of the above there are lots more attractions to be enjoyed each day including fashion shows, pony games, vintage vehicles, sheep shearing, and food trials. Little farmers will love the on-site funfair, and the Junior Hunt Chase.  If you’re thinking of attending, the National Ploughing Association website has all the information you need, including frequently- asked questions, a full list of exhibitors and events, and information on how you can buy tickets for this year’s competition.

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