After a lapse of more than 20 years, the County Kildare Ploughing Championships are back in the shadow of Aylmer’s Folly on the Hill of Allen.
This year’s farm hosts are Eddie and Mary Healy, Grangehiggin, Kilmeague.
They have put a fine 50-acre roadside field at the disposal of the Kildare Ploughing Association.
This is the 62nd county match and is organised by chairman Paddy O’Grady, Roseberry, and his team.
Kildare’s secretary and county delegate John Dunne, Woodlands, told the Leinster Leader: “The ploughing venue is very well located and gives us plenty of space for a big field of competitions. We are catering for conventional ploughs, vintage machines and the ever-popular horse class.
Next Saturday, February 8, will see moe than 50 tractors, ploughs, ploughmen and women on route to Grangehiggin. The event will be held less than one kilometre east of the Hill of Allen.
The 14 classes will be run off in stubble.
Kildare Open Class
The Kildare Open Class is very popular every year with national ploughing winners from Carlow, Wexford, Laois and Meath coming here for the keen competition. Eamon Treacy, Carlow, is last year’s winner with Pat Brandon, Laois, in second place.
The Horse Class is always popular with spectators. Patrick Commane, Ladytown, was last year’s winner at Kilgowan 2013.
Philip Jacob, Caragh, ploughed at the national event in Stradbally and brought home the trophy for the best turned out pair of horses.
The big attraction is, of course, the Kildare Championships and farrow, confined.
Dominic Dunne, Barnfield, was the winner last year, with Michael Keogh, Athgarvan, Grain, runner up.
Six judges from outside the county will be looking for perfection. Most marks are given for the middle and for the furrow. Other factors like straightness, skim, pack and flesh are taken on board also.
The judges will have the final say on who is best in each class. They will select the team to represent Kildare next September at the national ploughing event.