Numbers attending hit an all-time record high today with just over 127,000 passing through the gates of the Championships in Ratheniska. This is an increase of 49,500 on yesterday bringing the total attendance so far this week to 204,500. Speaking this evening, NPA Managing Director Ms Anna May McHugh said “We expected large crowds again today given the positive reports and great feedback received yesterday, however, I don’t think anyone would have predicted today’s attendance figure. The feedback from exhibitors so far is that business is extremely vibrant and those I spoke with said sales are already well ahead of their 3 day target figures. “
In the afternoon, the ever popular Most Appropriately Dressed Lady & Gentleman Competitions were hotly contested in the dedicated Fashion Show Marquee. Gillian Kelliher from Cork beat off stiff competition from the ladies to take the top prize and secure an exclusive break in the famous G Hotel in Galway worth €3,000. The Most Appropriately Dressed Gentleman, sponsored by Louis Copeland & Sons and Wine Port Lodge, went to Raymond Gilmon. He takes home a beautifully tailored suit by the award winning tailor and a weekend away in one of Ireland most luxurious hotels, the Wineport Lodge.
Anna May McHugh joined Finbarr Furey on stage to rapturous applause at the bandstand to launch “The Wild Goose Lodge” film, which will debut next year.
Attending today, Taoiseach Enda Kenny took the opportunity to wish the World Ploughing Conventional Champion Eamonn Tracey from Carlow the best of luck as he departs at the end of the week with current Bronze Reversible winner to defend their current titles in Denmark. Congratulating the NPA on another successful year, he paid tribute to Ms Anna May McHugh, the NPA, staff and the several hundred volunteers needed to host the event.
Taking the opportunity to press the flesh, several Government Ministers, Party Leaders and elected representatives were manning their tents and pouring customary cups of tea. Some of the nationally recognisable political representatives today included Tánaiste Joan Burton TD., Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Simon Coveney T.D., Leader of Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin T.D and Ministers’ of State Tom Hayes and Ann Phelan.
With high-spirits all around, everyone is eagerly anticipating all of tomorrow’s Ploughing action.