Sun shines on the final day of this year’s National Ploughing Championships

As the sun sets and  the traffic flows from the car parks this evening, the total attendance figure for the 2023 National Ploughing Championships came to a total of 200,550 over the three days, there was a wonderful atmosphere today with exhibitors and visitors alike thoroughly enjoying themselves on the final day of this year’s ‘Ploughing’.       

Speaking at the close of business, NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said “Despite experiencing a very wet start on Tuesday, the overall mood for this year’s Ploughing has been incredibly upbeat and positive.  With so much for visitors to enjoy from quality livestock & serious machinery to fashion, playground, innovations, crafts & cookery competitions and sports stars galore there was something for every member of the family to enjoy.”

Attending today Tánaiste Michéal Martin, returning early from the United Nations meeting in New York, congratulated the NPA on another great year, he paid tribute to Anna May McHugh, the NPA, gardai, staff and the several hundred volunteers required to host an event of its scale and scope.

The much anticipated National Brown Bread Baking Competition final took place in the Aldi tent in front of an audience of several hundred. The overall winner in first place was Loretta McGuire from Mayo, who was absolutely thrilled with her win. 

In the ploughing competition Eamonn Tracey from Carlow won the overall Conventional class, while West Cork man Jer Coakley won the Reversible Ploughing competition.  

Wishing you all a very safe journey home and looking forward to next year already.

Applied launches its Varimount 120 PTO driven air compressor at the 2023 National Ploughing Championships

The 2023 National Ploughing Championships was the backdrop to the launch of Applied’s new PTO driven air compressor – the Varimount 120 – essentially a little brother to the Varimount 350. 

The launch was hosted by Father Phil – father of popular agri influencer, Farmer Phil – and attended by an enthusiastic crowd, despite the inclement weather, including people from the agricultural, construction, and related sectors. 

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout for the launch of the Varimount 120, the latest addition to our family of PTO compressors. We’re also grateful to Father Phil for hosting the launch. His presence and warm personality, no doubt, helped drive attendance and keep the audience engaged,” says Mark Clendennen, CEO of Applied Concepts Ltd. 

“We believe the Varimount 120 is a game changer for farmers, contractors, and people working in the agricultural, commercial, construction, and light industrial sectors. And this year’s National Ploughing Championships gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase what it can do.” 

Applied’s Varimount 120 does not disappoint, building on the same features and functions that have made its big brother – the Varimount 350 – the world’s number one PTO compressor. 

“With a guaranteed output of 120 CFM, it’s ideally suited to a range of applications like blowing down equipment, powering a blasting machine, or jetting cable into a pre-installed duct,” adds Mr. Clendennen.

The air power you need, when you need it!

“The goal was to create a PTO Compressor that delivers the same level of reliability, versatility, and durability offered by the Varimount 350 without requiring the same horse power and with an emphasis on affordability,” explains Mr. Clendennen.

The Varimount 120 may be a smaller unit, but it’s made to the same exacting standards that have made the County Offaly based company Europe’s leading designer and manufacturer of blasting machines and PTO driven air compressors. 

“Everything we do at Applied is about our customers. Our customers wanted an equally robust, but more compact, lightweight version of the Varimount 350 that can run off smaller model tractors and the Varimount 120 offers just that. We’re very conscious of the economic burdens facing our customers and our role in engineering machinery geared to help them cut their running costs while boosting productivity and efficiency.” 

“We felt the demand warranted investing in the development of a PTO compressor that delivers the air power to tackle everyday agricultural, commercial, construction, and industrial tasks at a price point that fits our customers’ budgets.”

Following in the footsteps of the world’s number one PTO Compressor

The Varimount 120 follows in the footsteps of the Varimount 350, which set the benchmark for PTO compressors. The brainchild of Applied’s expert mechanical and product design engineers, it is designed and manufactured at Applied’s state-of-the-art facility in Birr, Co. Offaly. Over one thousand hours of field testing have proven it tough enough to surpass customers’ expectations in a range of applications, even in the harshest of outdoor environments.

“Our customers deserve a compressor that can handle anything they throw at it. That’s why we’ve checked and rechecked every element to ensure it lives up to the same attention to detail and exceptional manufacturing standards they’ve come to associate with the Applied name,” adds Mr. Clendennen.

Like the Varimount 350, the Varimount 120 can be quickly and easily mounted onto the rear or front linkage of any tractor. What’s more, the Varimount 120 shares the tractor’s engine. This two-for-one design means diesel emissions are automatically halved, making it better for customers and better for the environment. Plus, its compact size makes the Varimount 120 suited to manoeuvring in tight spaces without adding unnecessary extra weight.

Every aspect of the Varimount 120 is engineered to ease our customer’s workload while eliminating the challenges and potential hazards of towing a standard mobile compressor. From its Pinnacle Air End and patented pneumatic controls to its Combi-Cooler and premium quality finish, the emphasis is on maximised performance and hassle-free maintenance, making the portable air power our customers need more attainable and affordable.”

But the Varimount 120 is not just good news for customers. Its launch promises to create ten new positions at Applied’s manufacturing facility, Birr, County. Offaly.

“The Varimount 120 a project that has been two years in the making and thanks to Father Phil, its launch at the 2023 National Ploughing Championships has been a huge success,” concludes Mr. Clendennen.

About Applied Concepts Ltd.

Applied Concepts Ltd. is Europe’s leading designer and manufacturer of blasting machines and PTO driven air compressors. Established in 2010, the company operates out of Birr, Co. Offaly, in the Republic of Ireland where its state-of-the art production facility is based. From superior quality, CE approved portable blasting machines and blasting cabinets to best-in-class PTO compressors, the Applied name comes with a promise of safety, durability, and unbeatable value for money backed by the technical support of its expert Applied Service Team. 

Contact Details

Contact Person: Wendy Borland (PR Campaign Manager), Mark Clendennen (CEO, Applied Concepts Ltd.)

Contact Number: +353 (0)57 913 7929



Address: Roscrea Road, Birr, Co. Offaly, R42 XW08, Republic of Ireland

71,800 Visitors at Day 2 of this year’s National Ploughing Championships

A crowd of 71,800 descended upon the site today here in Ratheniska, Co Laois in the heart of Ireland to savour all of what this year’s National Ploughing Championships has to offer.   With weather much improved a buoyant mood prevailed throughout the site.

Speaking this evening, NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said “I have to pay an extraordinary special thanks to the NPA team, local landowners, gardai and volunteers who literally worked around the clock and all night to ensure that the site was suitable for visitors following the previous day’s adverse weather affects.

It is also a huge testament to the great Irish character that everyone rallied and threw themselves into enjoying their day out following Tuesday’s wet weather.”

In the afternoon, the Most Appropriately Dressed Lady & Gentleman Competitions were hotly contested in the dedicated Fashion Show Marquee. 

Roisin Fennin from Kildare beat off stiff competition from the other finalists to take the top prize and win an overnight stay for two in a deluxe Wineport Lodge lake view room with a pampering treatment and dinner & breakfast included.  The exclusive prize also includes a glamourous overnight in the Club at Goffs, a new chic boutique hotel with dinner by chef de cuisine Derry Clarke.

The Most Appropriately Dressed Gentleman, sponsored by the Midlands Park Hotel went to Daithi Fitzgerald from Kerry.   He has won an exclusive two-night escape in the luxury Midlands Park Hotel including dinner in the award winning Kelly’s Steakhouse with breakfast included.

With the final day of the 92nd National Championships tomorrow everyone is eagerly anticipating all of the Ploughing action.

Despite inclement weather conditions, the crowd ploughed on and were in lively spirits

From all of the latest machinery and cutting edge innovations to fashion, quality livestock, crafts and many well-known faces the crowd of 66,250 visitors revelled in all of the action on day 1 of this year’s National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois.

The prestigious ‘Machine of the Year was awarded to the Spreadpoint SX-A Lime spreader.  Judges Kevin McDonnell, UCD and Dermot Forristal, Teagasc said ‘we recognise that there were a significant number of excellent entries however the Spreadpoint SX-A Lime spreader was a very deserved overall winner as soil health is a key part of developing sustainable agricultural systems for Ireland and Europe and this lime spreader will enable growers to utilise nutrients in the most effective and sustainable way.” 

Speaking this evening, NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said “with the wet weather it was a challenging day for organisers but I would like to take this opportunity to thank patrons for their patience and support it was much appreciated.  With much better weather due for tomorrow we eagerly anticipate all of that Day 2 has to offer ”

Several new exhibitors joined all of the firm favourite attractions this year such as Fashion Shows, Meggers, Sheep Shearing, Hunt Derby, Fun Fair, Food Fayre, Craft Demonstrations, Pony Games, Live Music and Dancing, Vintage Ploughing, Threshing, Loy Digging, Motor Show, Baking Competitions  with celebrities and well known faces everywhere Ploughing 2023 is not to be missed.