Enjoying all the fun of the fair

Marisa Reidy

THE GODS were certainly smiling down on organisers of this year's Kingdom County Fair, with beautiful sunshine adding to the festive atmosphere at the 65th annual event on Sunday.

Hundreds flocked to Ballybeggan Racecourse at the weekend for what committee secretary Mary Barry described as another hugely successful event.

"We were absolutely blessed with the weather because we had been sandwiched between two really bad days," Mary said afterwards.

"We had people ringing us from up the country the previous evening and even on Sunday morning wondering if the show was going ahead because they were travelling through deluges. Thankfully we had a fabulous day and everything went great."

The milestone 65th anniversary fair offered a vast and varied programme of events featuring animal shows, stalls, live shows and family activities.

Among the highlights on Sunday was the cattle show, the horse and pony section and the annual dog show which attracted over 100 entries this year.

And for those who weren't showing or competing on the day, there was plenty to enjoy by way of fringe events - among them vintage machinery displays, horticulture classes, threshing, blacksmith displays, craft displays and competitions, along with live music and children's entertainment.

The committee was also honoured to have among its guests a former Aga Khan team member and current High Performance Manager for the Irish Show Jumping team, Robert Splaine.

Mr Splaine kindly accepted an invitation to meet riders and exhibitors and to present rosettes to the winners of the show jumping competition.

Also making the trip to the Kingdom on Sunday was president of the Irish Shows Association, Jim Harrison, who travelled from Monaghan, and the associations secretary, Michael Hughes.


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