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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Swinford Ag Show 2023 cancelled

Organisers of Swinford Agricultural Show, have this afternoon (Tuesday, August 22nd), announced the cancellation of this year’s event.

A spokesperson for the committee confirmed the news to in a statement, which reads as follows:

“We regret to inform you that due to adverse weather conditions and poor show grounds, we have came to the decision to cancel our show.”

Heeran Farm at Kiltimagh Road, Swinford, Co Mayo was set to open its gates to the public this weekend to play host to this year’s 33rd annual Swinford Agricultural Show.

The show, which was planned for Sunday, August 27th, 2023, is one of 122 across the country benefiting from the €1 million funding pot from the Department of Rural and Community Development and has received an allocation to the value of €8,525.

Some of the highlights that were planned for this year’s show included:
  • €2,000 All-Ireland Non-Pedigree Suckler Heifer Competition – sponsored by Progressive Genetics – qualifiers from other agricultural shows. The champion will receive €600 and a sash with €350 for second place, €250 for 3rd, €200 for 4th and 5th and €50 for those in places 6-13;
  • €2,200 All-Ireland Hogget Ewe Championship;
  • €1,000 All-Ireland True & Rare True Bantam Breeding Pair Chicken Championship Final;
  • €500 All-Ireland Soft Feather: Heavy Breeding Pair;
  • €400 Basic ‘4’ Baking Challenge;
  • €300 ‘Cute and Cuddly’ Dog Classic;
  • €1,200 All-Ireland Quality Breeding Sheep Championship;
  • €200 ‘Pick of the Crop’ Tray of Vegetables Championship;
  • Loose Lunging Performance Competition;
  • Two classes for young poultry handler.
Cattle classes

There was a range of commercial cattle classes planned , for beef-type bullocks and heifers of various age categories, best commercial heifer calf, under 370kgs, best commercial Limousin calf, bull, or heifer, under 350kgs, best commercial Belgian Blue bull or heifer calf, must be under 350kgs, best commercial bull calf, under 400kgs, and before junior breeding heifer, under 450kgs, with the potential to make a modern suckler cow.

Meanwhile, organisers had arranged a host of young exhibitor/handler classes, for those aged between 8-12 years and 13-17 years.

In the pedigree section, classes were listed for Shorthorns, Limousins (confined to Western Limousin Club), Simmentals (confined to members of Western Simmental Club), Angus, Charolais and Belgian Blue.

Aurivo was set to sponsor a €500 prize fund for the pedigree interbreed yearling champion 2023.

Other classes included best pair of animals, exhibited by the same breeder, animal best exhibited by a female over 17 years of age only, and the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine’s Breeder’s Choice Traditional 4-star or 5-star breeding heifer class, with €250 for first, €125 for 2nd, €75 for 3rd and €50 for 4th-8th.

Perpetual Cups in the cattle section:
  • Andrew Madden, Perpetual Cup for the winner of the Young Stockperson;
  • John F. O’ Hara, Perpetual Memorial Cup for young exhibitors;
  • O Connor & Sons Solicitors, Perpetual Cup for the supreme commercial beef champion;
  • Kiernan Mc Allister Perpetual Cup for champion Shorthorn;
  • Joe Reilly, Perpetual Cup for champion Simmental;
  • W Limousin Club, Perpetual Cup for champion Limousin;
  • Willie Mellet, Perpetual Memorial Cup for Charolais female champion;
  • Douglas Kelly & Son, Sols, Perp. Memorial cup for supreme pedigree beef champion;
  • Jim and Ann Devaney, Perpetual Cup for champion Angus of show;
  • Sean Gavaghan, Perpetual Cup for champion senior Angus heifer;
  • Padraig Horkan, Perpetual Cup for champion Charolais of show;
  • Show president’s Perpetual Cup for successful lady exhibitor;
  • O’Connor Perpetual Cup for champion Angus cow.
Sheep section

Meanwhile, the show was set to host the Growvite All-Ireland Hogget Ewe Championship, which carries a €2,000 prize pot, with classes for the best pure-bred hogget ewe, Blackface horned hogget ewe, cross-bred lowland hogget ewe and best cross-bred/hybrid hogget ewe.

Moreover, the show was also set to stage the All-Ireland Quality Breeding Sheep Championship, young handler classes for over 8s and under 15s, along with general classes for Texel, Suffolk, Charollais, Blackface Mountain horned, other pure breeds not in the above classes and rare breeds.

Other attractions

The equine section saw catalogued classes for Connemara, Piebald, Skewbald and Cob, sport horses, ponies shown in hand, Welsh ponies, young handlers, ridden ponies, working hunter performance classes, and loose jumping performance.

Meanwhile, there were classes planned for the best female donkey and best turned-out donkey with working tack.

Other highlights of the show were set to include poultry classes, live entertainment, a craft village, trade stands, children’s fancy dress, the most appropriately dressed little miss and little mister, a pet’s corner, a turf footing competition, a potato picking competition, vintage tools and equipment, and children’s entertainment (obstacle course competition, amusements etc).

A highlight of this year’s show is a fundraising raffle, with the first prize being a female donkey, presented by Bill Durkin from Bohola.

Tickets are available for €2 each or 3 for €5 and the raffle will take place on show day at 4:30 pm.

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