For one day each August Bank Holiday Monday, the small charming village of Bonniconlon, nestled beneath the Ox Mountains, warmly welcomes over 30,000 visitors to its annual agricultural show and gymkhana.
Now in 2022, after a three-year absence, the 71st-annual show looks set to “be bigger and better than ever”, organisers claim.
Since the Bonniconlon Show’s formation some 72 years ago, it has grown from strength to strength, now boasting the title of one of the largest agricultural events in Ireland.
According to organisers, competitors travel from its four corners, with over 5,000 entries and seven national finals.
Bonniconlon Show highlights:
- More than 600 show classes;
- 2 horse jumping arenas;
- More than 200 trade stands;
- 6 live bands providing entertainment;
- 200-acres of specially developed showgrounds;
- Bands: Mike Denver, Declan Nerney, Seamus Moore and local groups;
- The Jez Avery Stunt Show;
- Bonniconlon’s trade stand village: Over 200 stands;
- Talk and demonstration on healthy eating, food nutrition and cooking ideas by chef, Ronan Fox;
- The All-Ireland Sheaf Tossing event.
- Supreme champion in the horse & pony section with a first prize of €300;
- A young pony handlers’ section for 9 – 13-year-olds and 13 – 17-year-olds with a generous prize fund of €500 for each;
- €1,200 prize fund for two newest cattle classes for un-haltered animals and the 4 or 5-star continental breeding heifer prize fund of €750;
- Extended sheep section featuring 106 classes with three new breeds; Valais Blacknose, Blue Texel and Dassenkop;
- Official launch of the Irish Valais Blacknose Sheep Society with its first-ever dedicated showing classes for the world’s cutest sheep;
- Extended goat section with classes for Boer goat;
- Official opening by Nuala Carey, RTÉ Weather, at noon;
- The bonny baby competition at 1.30 pm in the main field;
- 30 pm in the marquee: Interviews for the Bonniconlon Rose will commence.
Speaking to That’s Farming, a spokesperson for the show said:
“This tremendous one-day event captures the heart of locals both near and far.”
“Tourists and emigrants return in their droves to soak in the livestock, farm produce, domestic crafts, trade stands, horse jumping, music, entertainment & so much more over the Bank Holiday weekend. This influx of visitors generates a huge benefit for the business community in the region.”
“When the day is done, it is not quite over here in Bonniconlon as there is still one thing left, the show dance.”
The Grove Ballroom will reverberate again as the ever-popular show dance gets underway, and performing this year are Gerry Guthrie & Band.
The committee of the Bonniconlon Show wishes to thank its sponsors who generously support the show each year.
“Firstly, the exhibitors who travel to Bonniconlon, the land owners without whom the event could not take place and the stewards, who turn out in their hundreds to keep everything running smoothly on the day.”
“Also, to the competitors for entering and taking part, the visitors who arrive and enjoy the day.”
“But full credit must go to the committee themselves who voluntarily spend their time contacting sponsors, planning the event and ensuring that the Bonniconlon Agricultural Show and Gymkhana remains one of the largest attended and respected events in the region,” they concluded.
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