Farm Ireland

Monday 18 December 2017

Weather tests farming shows

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

The prolonged wet spell is 'wreaking havoc' on agricultural shows around the country, with another three cancelled or moved last weekend, and several more threatened with cancellation.

July and August are the peak period for farm shows, with over two thirds of the year's events crammed into the nine-week period.

However, with many of the 130 affiliated shows already struggling to survive, the Irish Shows' Association's (ISA) national secretary, Michael Hughes, said that 2012 was shaping up to be a real test for local organising committees.

"The last month has been bad for shows with gate receipts probably halved at some of the recent shows in Dunmanway and Ballymoate," he said.

So far this year, shows at Ballivor, Cork, Strandhill, Enniscorthy, Adamstown and Mullingar have all been cancelled.

Adamstown is considering rescheduling to a Friday date later in July, but rescheduling of shows is proving to be problematic for organisers due to a recent motion endorsed by the ISA that prevents shows scheduling on days that would clash with other shows that traditionally operated on those days.

"Everybody wants to host their shows at the weekends to maximise numbers, but we won't allow a show to be held on the same day as another show if there are objections. Sometimes shows will accommodate each other, but if they don't want it, we'll support their wishes, regardless of how far apart they are," said Mr Hughes.

Newmarket Show was moved to an indoor venue at the Green Glens equestrian centre at Millstreet since the weather has prevented the landowner clearing the field of silage.

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Newcastlewest Show was due to be held next weekend, but organisers have already cancelled the event due to the ongoing poor weather.

However, the show committee are hoping to reschedule the event for a later date this summer. Cork Show has rescheduled its horse classes for this Friday, when they will be run in conjunction with the society's pony show.

Indo Farming