World's best ready for title fights
FIERCE competition is expected between the 320 plough men and women who will compete for 15 national titles over the next three days.
This year's Ploughing schedule includes two new classes, one of which is a nod to the past. The Macra class, open to Macra na Feirme members under the age of 35, was last run 15 years ago.
However, it has been revived to coincide with the NPA's 80th anniversary and is expected to introduce plenty of young blood into the sport.
The young farmers, who have each qualified within their county, will compete using two-furrow conventional ploughs.
The second new class is a World Challenge, in which world champions and world medallists from across Europe and beyond will compete.
Eleven ploughmen are entered, including four representatives from Ireland.
The Irish contingent includes three-time world champion Martin Kehoe (Wexford) and seven-time world runner-up John Treacy (Carlow).
Former European champion, world bronze medallist and four-time national champion John Whelan (Wexford) and former world silver medallist Liam O'Driscoll (Cork) make up the quartet.