'It's a wonderful show and it's great to be part of it'
Published 20/07/2016 | 02:30
Dorothea Lazenby served a two-year term as president of the Irish Shows Association between 2006-07 and she is the only woman to have held the position in the Association's 85 year history.
During her tenure she had the task of attending many of the 100 agricultural shows run under the auspices of the ISA. From Charleville to Corofin, and from Thomastown to Tullamore, the Wexford native knew them all. "But they were two of the best years of my life, especially being the first female president too," Mrs Lazenby (inset) said.
It was a role she thoroughly enjoyed but one which brought many challenges, particularly with the loss of so many shows in recent years.
One which is close to her heart is Carnew, which was due to take place on July 16 but was cancelled for 2016. "There were a few reasons behind the cancellation. Firstly we were struggling to get volunteers, but also we lost the Hunt Chase due to its close proximity to the Dublin Horse Show. We really hope to get it back next year."
As Eastern region secretary, Ms Lazenby has a busy few months ahead as she co-ordinates many of the horse championships run by the ISA. Having grown up on a farm near Camolin, she always had an interest in the rural way of life. "My father died when I was 12 so I had to help my mother with the stock at home."
Ms Lazenby's love of farming was shared by her husband of 50 years, Neville, who farmed near Tinahely.
Neville's nephew, Philip Lazenby, is huntsman of the Wicklow Foxhounds. Between them, Neville and Dorothea also owned a few horses and in the 1980s completed an RDS treble for the Laidlaw, Maude and Pembroke Cups with the three-year-old gelding Sultan, by the thoroughbred High Tack.
Neville died in March 2014 and their son Ian now runs the mixed farm and keeps a few Connemara ponies.
"Not long after I was married, I got involved in Tinahely Show and still do to this day. It is another great show, as are Bonniconlon and Thomastown, which had faded away but now has a great team. Gorey also had a huge crowd last month.
"Neville was my travelling companion to shows so it hasn't been the same since he died, but when I am not at a show, I enjoy taking care of my two grandchildren, Arianna (8) and Nathan (5). Their mother, Nicolette, helps run the family business, Cappagh Nurseries and Garden Centre in Aughrim. I also have a great social outlet in bowling and meet plenty of people year-round between Tinahely and Aughrim."