Sunday August 20th the tenth anniversary of the First Claregalway Agricultural Show finally arrived. Everything was organised down to the smallest detail and the committee waited in trepidation for the day to dawn. Having had a wet day last year, hopes were high for an improvement. The forecast looked promising and indeed they were not disappointed—the day dawned in glorious sunshine. A light shower in the afternoon merely kept the dust down!
The pony and horse exhibits were of the usual high standard with entries from all over the country as well as a good local turn out. The Champion Connemara Pony of the show was owned by John Joe Bolton from Scariff. The cattle entries were down this year but the sheep section more than made up for this. The Champion Sheep of the show was owned by Rose Finnerty from Headford.
The judges commented on the high quality of exhibits in all the outdoor sections including the dog show which went on until 8pm due to the huge entry. The obstacle course was more popular than ever this year with young and old getting great enjoyment from it. The dogs seemed happy enough too, being put through their paces. The Champion Dog of the Show was owned by Mark Barnicoat from Mervue, and the Reserve Champion was owned by Tom Costello from Claregalway. Duffy’s Equestrian Centre, Rockwood, once again proved to be an excellent venue for the show with ample parking facilities in nearby Peter Tonery’s field. The Civil Defence and show stewards kept everything in order.
As always, the Donkey Derby attracted a huge crowd of spectators and even though the jockeys had been in training for some time, several failed to negotiate the first bend. However, they just remounted and made the finish line.
The Show Queen, Ms Maria Cribbin from Cahergowan, Claregalway, looked radiant, adorned with her sash and tiara. She presided over the presentation of the prizes during the day. In the evening, she selected the winner in The Dog I Would Like to Take Home class. There was great competition in the Home Baking section and it was nice to see more local participants this year. Some of the local winners included Bernadette Long, Kiniska, Brid Connelly, Carnmore, Mary Finnerty, Rockwood, Margaret McKiernan, Kiltulla, to name but a few. Congratulations to one and all.
The standard in all classes was very high again this year and there was a lovely display of Decoupage and Oil Paintings to be viewed. Several of these entries were from local exhibitors. Margaret Lenihan from Cloon and Julie McKenna from Cregboy, featured among the prize winners. Judges were impressed by the high standard of the show, the hospitality they received and they congratulated the committee on the organisation.
Chairman, Val Noone, would like to thank everybody who assisted in any way with the organisation and running of the show and special thanks to all who turned up on Saturday and Monday to help out. Thanks also, to the exhibitors who turned out in large numbers and the show’s many sponsors, without whose support there would be no show. The committee was pleased with the overall turnout and the beautiful day made it all worthwhile.