IN the region of 6,000 patrons flocked to view or participate in the 30th annual South-East Clare Show in Bridgetown last Sunday.
In fact, show organisers estimate gate receipts were 3% up from 2019, as thousands converged at the Bridgetown Showgrounds for what was described as an “amazing show”.
It was the first opportunity in the last three years for the show committee to showcase local and national competitions due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Show secretary, Yvonne McNamara said there was an exceptional entry growth in the home produce and horticulture section, which she believed was due to people having had the opportunity during Covid-19 lockdown to perfect baking and vegetable growing and associated knowledge.
The show was opened by newly appointed Clare County Council chairman, Councillor Tony O’Brien as he was escorted through the grounds by members of the Mounted Garda Unit and traditional bag pipe player, Philip Doran before welcoming everybody.
The varied weather forecast did not stop the thousands of people who were eager to be in attendance to what had been promised to be a great family day out.
Record crowd numbers descended on the showgrounds to view the many cattle showing classes. Reserve Champion Simmental section went to Ronan Tuohy, Whitegate. Local exhibitor, Richard Hackett, Clonlara took first prize for his Pedigree Charolais Calf, while Daire O’Meara, Ardnacrusha took home the Champion prize in the Limousin section
The Food Court area was a hive of activity and included live cooking, surrounded by a selection of home foods, little gems, face painting, and Ger’s Mobile Farm.
Spectators enjoyed the amazing and well turned out young horses, brood mares and foals – the Two Year-Old Filly of the show went to Tom Casey, Kildysart, Tiffany Phelan, Killaloe was placed second in the Yearling colt/gelding class.
Champion Young Horse of the Show was awarded to Willie McDonnell, Nenagh, and his three year-old chestnut gelding by Castlecomer Q.
The All-Ireland Yearling Filly Championship went to John Walsh, Co. Cork and his bay filly by Darsi.
Families and children enjoyed the magnificent grounds where there was something for everyone, ensuring all were entertained.
A unit from the Clare Fire Service demonstrated key aspects of their jobs. Fun on the Farm activities for the children was a key attraction together, with the most recent IFA safety on the
The hanging tough competition was a big hit for the competitive and energetic visitor, which was hosted by the local O’Shea family who appeared on RTE’s Ireland’s fittest family.
The stylish dog ring was the parade area for the many dog competitions.
The bonanza raffle prize of a purebred Charolais Heifer, donated by Limkiln Pedigree Herd was won by the Maguire Family, Murroe.
Ongoing competitive pony and horse jumping competitions ensured nail biting spectators on the edge of their seats for the well followed youngster tour competitions , while the spectacle of two and four wheel carriage driving was some-what more relaxed and leisurely.
Within the marquee, which set the perimeter of the show grounds, the horticulture and home produce sections were on display following early morning judging.
These competitions were largely supported this year by adults and children. Best white soda bread went to Patricia Hayes, Bridgetown, while Niall Frawley, Broadford, took first prize for his head of cabbage displayed.
Many of the farm machinery and car sales stands offered show discount to potential buyers and had operational demonstrations. A number of vintage cars
were on display.
The Show Committee look forward to presenting a donation to Milford Care Centre, their charity of choice for the Show day later this month.
They would like to thank all their sponsors without whose generosity the Show would not happen, as well as their army of volunteers who give their time freely in advance of the Show date and on the day.