Monaghan champ is back to defend title
This year's Ploughing will be an all-family affair for the Deerys from Co Monaghan as Joanne Deery returns to defend her 'Queen of the Plough' title in the company of her father John and brother Padraig who will also be bidding for glory on Laois soil.
A three-time winner of the Farmerette Conventional Plough Class in 2011, 2013 and 2014, Joanne is delighted to have the support of her family as she bids to make it three-in-a-row in this hotly-contested class on Wednesday afternoon.
"It's always a great week and the atmosphere is wonderful down there," she said. "I'm looking forward to meeting some old rivals, but there are always a few new ones to watch," added the part-time farmer, who runs a suckler herd in Inniskeen, near Dundalk, with her husband Steve. During the week she works at Malone Foods in Castleblayney.
Joanne's first introduction to competitive ploughing came in 1996, and since then she has only missed one year of the National Ploughing Championships. That was in 2007 when she was expecting her second son TJ. Now seven, he will also be cheering on his mother along with his siblings Aidan and James.
Joanne has another great supporter in her coach David Gill, as well as her fellow members of the Monaghan Ploughing Association. "It's an expensive week all round but the association is great and covers the costs of getting our machinery to Laois."