Farm Ireland

Monday 18 December 2017

Lots of fun to be had by all at Virginia

Both beef and dairy livestock classes to draw the crowds to Co Cavan

For the 69th time, the Virginia Show invites visitors and exhibitors from all over Ireland and beyond to come to Virginia, Co Cavan, on Saturday, July 31.

With 450 classes taking place at the show, there is something for everyone, most particularly livestock enthusiasts.

The livestock programme at the show includes several All-Ireland classes, making the show a day not to be missed. The top classes include the Baileys Champion €8,000 Dairy Cow competition, the Gunne Carnaross Mart All-Ireland €2,000, Male/Female Weanling Champion, Liffey Meats €2,000 Champion Beef Bullock, Glanbia Virginia €700 Friesian In-calf Heifer, McEvoys SuperValu ICA €500 Guild Skills of the Year, Lakeland Dairy Champion of the Show, Francie Brady Charolais Champion of the Show, AW Ennis Interbreed Champion of the Show and the Riverfront Hotel Champion Pairs of the Show.

Classes will be available for a wide variety of tried and trusted cattle breeds, including Holstein Friesians, Shorthorns, Herefords, Aberdeen Angus, Charolais, Limousins, Salers, Simmentals, Belgian Blues and all commercial cattle.

Visitors to the show will have an opportunity to talk to the owners of all these breeds and discuss their merits for future production to feed world markets.

The winner of the Commercial Champion of the Show, sponsored by Lisgrey House, will receive the Jack Love Cup, while the AW Ennis Interbreed Champion will also be selected.

The young stockpersons finals in beef, sheep and dairy are always popular events at the show, and they are open to young people between the ages of 12 and 16.

Liffey Meats €2,000 Champion Beef Bullock

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The drawing power of the Virginia Show as the number-one venue for the exhibitors of top-quality commercial cattle is once again borne out of the large entry to the Liffey Meats €2,000 Champion Beef Bullock Competition.

Entries are confined to beef bullocks with no more than four permanent teeth.

Gunne Carnaross Mart €2,000 Champion Male/Female Weanling Champion

Another competitive display of high-quality animals is the competition to find the champion non-pedigree male and female weanling of the show. Sponsored by Gunne Carnaross Mart, these classes are opened to calves born in 2010.

North Eastern Club Simmental Championship

There is plenty on offer for Simmental cattle breeders, with the highlight being the finals of the North East Simmental Championship. The wealth of top stock from the length and breath of the north east area of the country are attracted to the east Cavan town for the final.

North Eastern Charolais Club Championships

The North Eastern Charolais Club is holding its Club Junior Championships at Virginia this year. There are five classes with €250 worth of prize money in each class.

The champion calf will receive a sash, €200 and the Freddie and Kathleen Bothwell Memorial Trophy, while the reserve champion will receive €100.

Exhibitors are limited to the counties of Cavan, Monaghan, Meath, Westmeath, Longford, Louth and Dublin.


Other notable classes include the Traditional Irish Sport Horse Foal All-Ireland Championship, Nissan Irish Draught Colt Foal Championship, All-Ireland Suckler Heifer Championship, Greenvale Animal Feeds All-Ireland Beef Heifer Championship, Connacht Gold Feeds All-Ireland Beef Bullock Championship, Odlums All-Ireland Home Cooking Championship, Bord Bia All-Ireland Quality Potato Championship, All-Ireland Female Bantam Chicken Championship Final, Oldcastle All-Ireland Amateur Painting Competition, the Gain Dog Food All Ireland Champion and the All-Ireland Cocker Spaniel Championship.

Horses & Ponies

The Virginia Show offers the opportunity to get a close-up view of the best animals being produced in the country.

There are classes for broodmares, light horses, coloured entries and ridden hunters. The Heavy Horse and Clydesdales classes show some of the finest working horses in Ireland. All equine are catered for from the giant Clydesdales to the miniature horse of 42 inches high.

This year also sees the introduction of a new class for Welsh ponies.

One of the equestrian highlights is the Fleetwood Hunt Chase, where teams from all over Ireland compete at breathtaking speed in the evening.

Sheep, Goats, Poultry, Eggs, Farm & Garden Produce

The sheep at the Virginia Show will this year be competing for the Hugh Faulkner Cup for the Champion Crossbred Sheep, while pedigree sheep breeders will be competing for the Patrick Keogan Cup. The Riverfront Hotel presents the champion sheep of the show.

There will also be a sheep stockperson competition for under-16s and a competition for pet lambs.

High entries are expected for the goats, poultry, eggs and farm, and garden produce categories, with total prize money of more than €1,500 on offer.

McEvoy's Supervalu, Virginia €500 ICA Guild Skills of the Year Competition

To celebrate 100 years of the ICA, the popular ICA Guild Skills of the Year Competition has a special theme this year. Guilds from Cavan, Monaghan and Meath will be invited to present under the theme 'The ICA has been a huge asset to Irish Women over the past 100 years and has great potential for the future'.

The main ICA exhibition will highlight the role the ICA had in introducing rural electrification, water schemes and adult education to the people in Ireland.

Food & Crafts

The Cavan/Monaghan LEADER group will showcase small food and craft producers, ranging from jewellery to sauces and chutneys in the main hall. Take this opportunity to fill your shopping bags with organic, free-range and homemade products.

The fantastic selection foods, crafts and 'off-farm' produce are all produced locally and are all for sale on the day.

Local food producers will also be manning an outdoor farmers' market, where all food is produced on local farms.

Irish Farmhouse Skills

The Virginia Show prides itself on promoting and passing on traditional skills, and the college canteen will be demonstrating all the best in traditional and modern Irish food and crafts.

Nan Smith will hold a workshop on baking Irish soda bread, which will be available for tasting and on sale to the show's visitors.

Members of the Cavan ICA will also give demonstrations in sugar crafts, crochet and handbag making, while members of the Active Virginians will demonstrate jewellery, card making and cross-stitching.

Baltimore Food Demonstration

Students from Baltimore International College, which owns and runs the Park Hotel in Virginia, will host a gourmet food demonstration using top-class, locally produced ingredients from the hinterland of Virginia.


Toes will be tapping at the Fleadh Cheol Gig Rig, where the afternoon session will feature Fleadh Cheol organiser Martin O'Donoghue, Anne Galligan, winner of this year's Macra na Feirme National Solo Singing competition, and other guest artists.

Meanwhile, the Virginia Show Society is bringing the show dance back to its roots on Saturday night with Brendan Bowyer.

Taking place in Virginia College Hall, which was built directly on the site of the old Farmers Hall, the show night opens at 10.30pm.

Refreshments and special treats will be served and tickets are available from Multi Sound Cavan, Pat Clarke, Ballyjamesduff, John Ed Sheanon, Bailieboro, E O'Reilly & Son Ltd, Virginia, and direct from the show office on 049 854 7197.

Other highlights

Other activities during the day include the presence of the national radio station, RTE Radio One, as Countrywide broadcasts live with Brian Lally and Marty Morrissey.

At the same time, Northern Sound Radio will broadcast from the show, with Charlie McGettigan singing and talking to special guests in the morning. This will be followed by the Joe Finnegan Show.

The Road Safety Authority are bringing their interactive road show to Virginia, which should be of interest to all age groups, especially young people who can test their driving skills.

Cavan Canoeing are providing canoe lessons on Lough Ramor, which is one of Cavan's 365 lakes and features 32 islands. There will also be dog and duck agility demonstrations during the day.

Children's classes

Children are not forgotten at the Virginia Show and they are catered for by a plethora of classes, from painting and poetry to wild flower arranging and hand-writing.

For more information, contact the show office on 049 854 7197, fax 049 854 8308 or email Also, look up or join us on Facebook.

Irish Independent