Vice-chairman Matt Hogan led the proceedings with great enthusiasm, including contributions from committee members, and invited guests including Freda Kinnarney (Irish Show Association) and Melvyn Kennedy (Showjumping Ireland).
Highlighted on the night was the great community involvement of all ages, with the proceeds each year going to Carlow/Kilkenny Home Care Team and other local charities.
This well-established show boasts many accolades to date:
2019 Kilkenny Agri Tourism Award,
2019 SJI Pony Show of the Year,
2016 SJI Pony Show of the Year
2015 SJI National Show of the Year.
Originally established in 1994 as a gymkhana, the foundation of this event was showjumping; Catering for horses, novice, and open ponies. Several of the current top Irish riders came up through the pony grades at Ballyfoyle and are now representing Ireland internationally. They also continue to return with their young horses annually and their support is invaluable.
The Ballyfoyle Agricultural Show allows top riders to introduce their young horses to a day of jumping on the grass arena ahead of the Dublin Horse Show.
In 2019, the committee took the leap and became an agricultural show and has not looked back since, going from strength to strength every year.
This year’s show promises to be bigger and better. The hard working committee, under the expert stewardship of Ann Callanan, have plans well under way for an exciting line up.
New for 2023
New to this year’s showjumping schedule will be the ‘Mervue Equine Leagues including 1.35m Grand Prix’. At the launch Chairperson Ann Callanan said, “We hope to see several of the top riders competing for excellent prize-money in Ballyfoyle on June 25 next. This year’s schedule also includes the Glencarrig League, the Mullingar Equestrian Pony League, Orchard Equestrian/ NAPS National Amateur League and the Leinster Amateur Tour.”
She also advised participants to check out SJI live for the full schedule.
On the showing new side to this year will be the very popular ‘Redmills Champion of Champions’ along with a leg of the new ‘All Ireland Racehorse To Riding Horse Championship Qualifier’.
Also, for the first time there will be a Pony Cob Class. As usual, several classes will be affiliated with the Irish Pony Society and promise a fantastic exhibition of both the equipment and performance classes for the pony riders. Full schedule and entries available on www.itsplainsailing.com/bas
“This is a fantastic family day out with events which will include children’s entertainment, music, vintage display, village food, craft fair and trade stands,” added Ann Callanan.
The famous lead rein, where the next generation of riders start off, is a must see.
“The local Macra-na-Feirme will be putting on a demonstration and testing people’s tractor skills which is very entertaining viewing. Along with the children’s baking competition, it is an exciting addition to the adults’ category with the Odlums All Ireland Home Baking Championship qualifier. The Lena Brophy trophy will be awarded to the best baker on the day.”
If baking or equestrian is not your thing, free not. For the gardening enthusiast the Bord Bia 7-A-Day vegetable/fruit qualifier is a must. Included in the junior arts and crafts section is hat creation for a day at the races! The hotly contested Lego challenge continues this year too. Exciting competitions for all schools. See Facebook for all entry information.
The hugely popular Dog Show has a variety of classes to suit all canine lovers. An exciting addition this year will be the All-Ireland Gun Dog Championship qualifier. Entries for all these classes on the day.
This event would not be possible without the support of the sponsors, competitors, spectators and volunteers who make the show such a success each year. Ballyfoyle Agricultural Show offers numerous sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in sponsoring a class or bringing a trade stand, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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