Claregalway Agricultural Show 2014
Following months of preparation and getting everything in place the Show Day finally arrived. Claregalway’s 24th Annual Agricultural Show took place on Sunday 24th August. Chairperson Val Noone and Vice Chairperson Kieran Quinn were at the show grounds at the crack of dawn. Not long after them came the committee and the helpers making sure they were on time before the exhibitors started to arrive. Soon a normally quiet rural road took on a new life. Horse boxes full of the best quality horses and ponies, trucks with trailer loads of cattle and sheep began to arrive at Duffys Equestrian Centre. Next to arrive were the dogs, pets and fowl followed by the many indoor exhibitors with quality exhibits. The place was alive with busy people all preparing for the judges decisions and hoping to be taking home a rosette or maybe two in the evening. There was a great buzz about Duffy’s Equestrian Centre, Rockwood, Claregalway where the show has been taking place over a long number of years.
The Show Queen Orla McCann dazzled the crowd when she appeared at the Show Grounds. She looked stunning. She was dressed in a mint green lace dress, sponsored by Love It Boutique (Tuam) and wore matching shoes. Her hair was perfectly coiffured with her tiara in place. She was proud to wear the sash “Claregalway Show Queen 2014”. Her beautiful smile and amiable personality endeared her to everyone. She enjoyed the day and was delighted to be asked to select “The dog I would like to take home”.
The show committee were delighted to welcome local dignitaries Councillors Malachy Noone & Frank Kearney, Fr. Ian O’Neill, P.P. Claregalway, Noel Grealish T.D., Canon Richie Higgins, Maree and Fr. Seamus Nohilly SMA Fathers to the show. Also in attendance were Mr. Michael Hughes National Secretary of the Irish Shows Association and David Devane, ISA. The show committee appreciated their presence and the support of all the spectators who turned up at the show.
Despite the showery day there was a great turnout of exhibitors and the quality of animals and indoor exhibits were of a very high standard. There was keen competition in all classes, with Judges finding it difficult to select winners due to the high standard of the exhibits. The photography section was slightly down – perhaps a sign of modern times when we longer print photos but keep them on our IPADs, phones, computers etc.
Those who visited the Camera Obscura Dome were fascinated and intrigued. Adults and children were curious to see what was going on inside the darkened dome. The Scarecrow Competition was one of the highlights of the day. All makes and models of Scarecrow arrived at the show including an appearance from President Michael D. and his wife Sabina, albeit disguised as scarecrows.
The Donkey Derby polished off the day entertaining the crowd who waited especially for the event in the evening. Despite several riders being unseated many times, it was a race to the finish.
This year’s show was tinged with a little sadness as the committee remembered Paul Duffy who died earlier this year. A minute’s silence was observed in his memory. Paul was a great conversationalist and every year when the committee arrived at Duffys Equestrian Centre to prepare for the show, they would be greeted by Paul who always had something interesting to relate. He joined in the preparations and his presence and advice were always welcome. May he rest in peace.
Claregalway Agricultural Show launches 24th Annual Show
The launch of the 24th Claregalway Agricultural Show took place in the Arches Hotel, Claregalway on Friday August 1st. Since 1991 when the first Claregalway Agricultural Show took place, it has gone from strength to strength and at this year's launch, Chairperson Val Noone said that the constant improvements have made it one of the finest shows in the region. This year's show promises to be bigger and better than ever before. Prize money has been increased in the Horse and Pony Section as well as a number of indoor classes. Some new classes have been added to the schedule this year also. Entries are already pouring in.
Speaking in the Arches Hotel at the launch to sponsors, participants, committee members and friends of the show, Val added that the show has survived through difficult times and quality has always been maintained. He added that it's vital that people keep supporting the show, which this year takes place in Duffy’s Equestrian Centre, Rockwood, Claregalway on Sunday, August 24th.
The Chairperson thanked all sponsors of the show, without whose financial support the show would not exist. He asked everyone to support the sponsors, if at all possible.
He introduced this year’s Show Queen, Ms. Orla McCann and thanked her for taking on the role of Show Queen. Orla hails from Lakeview, Claregalway. Orla is the daughter of Tom & Myriam McCann who have been associated with the show for many years. She looked resplendent on the night wearing a beautiful navy dress, complemented by silver shoes and accessories, all befitting a queen. She was presented with flowers and gifts from the show committee together with a sash and tiara. Orla will preside over the presentation of the prizes at the show. Val also thanked Valerie Noone, the outgoing queen and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.
Some of the top attractions at this year’s show will include the horse and pony section, cattle and sheep sections, arts and crafts, home baking and farm produce, the ever popular baby show, dog show, poultry and pet show, a dedicated children's section and not forgetting the numerous trade stands and sideshows.
A huge attraction this year will be the Camera Obscura Dome, invented by Noel Arrigan and Gabriel Henry, featuring at the show for the first time ever. This will be enjoyed by children and adults alike. It is an intriguing creation to say the least. It will be worth a visit to the show just to see this in operation.
A new addition to the show schedule this year will be the Scarecrow Competition, which is already attracting interest. The Donkey Derby is expected to be as eventful as ever to round off the day.
For information please email firstname.lastname@example.org, ring the secretary Carmel at 087 9180723 or the entries secretary Bernie at 091 798931. All information is available on the show’s website www.claregalwayagriculturalshow.ie