National Ploughing Championships to return to Co. Laois


Europe’s largest outdoor event, “The National Ploughing Championships” is set to return to Ratheniska, Co Laois from September 19th to 21st for a second year given the triumph of this year’s event.  The total attendance figures for the 2022 ‘Ploughing’ came to an amazing 277,000 visitors and with over 1,700 exhibitors it was an incredible success.

The widely popular site was confirmed as the ideal location for next year’s event at the National Ploughing Championships prize-giving ceremony attended by over 500 in the Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise.  Speaking after the announcement the NPA Managing   Director Anna May McHugh said “We are delighted to be staging the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois again next year.  Feedback from landowners, the local community and the wider public has been very positive and all were very enthusiastic to see a return.”

“Speaking also with many of the exhibitors and visitors over the 3 days throughout the event, all were very vocal about their wishes to have it staged again in Ratheniska given how well it worked as a location this year.  The site has proved popular for several reasons including its central location and surrounding road and rail network.  By and large most people travelled to the site with ease and the minimum of traffic delays.  This has certainly helped the event in being such a success this year and we look forward to 2023.”

Anna May McHugh also congratulated all of the winners who were awarded at today’s prize-giving ceremony.   Supreme World Ploughing Conventional Champion Eamonn Tracey from Carlow will again represent Ireland in next year’s World Ploughing Contest in Latvia.  And Supreme World Ploughing Champion John Whelan from Wexford will take part in the Reversible Class.


Sun beginning to set as one of the most successful Ploughing Championships draws to a close

As the traffic flows from the car parks this evening, the total attendance figure for the 91ST National Ploughing Championships came to a massive 277,000 over the 3 days, with exhibitors and visitors alike thoroughly enjoying themselves.    This marks one of the most successful National Ploughing Championships to date as it returned for the first time in three years to its full glory.

NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said, “The overall mood for this year’s Ploughing has been incredibly buoyant and positive.  With so much for visitors to enjoy from quality livestock and serious machinery to fashion, celebrities, tik tokers and sports stars galore there was something for every member of the family to enjoy.”

The coveted 2022 Best Brown Bread Baker title went to Darragh O’Brien from Co Kildare, his bread will be sold in Aldi stores nationwide and he will receive €15,000 for his triumph.  It is the first time that a man has won the National Brown Bread Baking Competition, sponsored by Aldi and run in conjunction with the ICA, since its inception in the early 1950s. 

FarmDroid FD20 beat very stiff competition to be announced as the prestigious National Ploughing Championships ‘Machine of the Year’. The FarmDroid FD20 is the world’s first fully automatic robot that can take care of both sowing and weed control. The robot enables farmers to reduce the cost of sowing and weed control while doing it CO2 neutral, and pesticide-free. Furthermore, the robot reduces or even eliminates the need for exhausting, manual work.

In the style stakes, Aisling Stack from Listowel, Co Kerry won the ‘Most Appropriately Dressed Lady’ competition her prize is an exclusive weekend break in the luxurious Wineport Lodge Hotel in Westmeath.  And Tipperary’s Gavin Clarke was awarded a €500 voucher from the stylish Manley’s Menswear in Athy, Co Kildare.

In the ploughing competition Eamonn Tracey from Carlow won the overall conventional class, while Wexford man John Whelan won the Reversible Ploughing competition.  Both men will again represent Ireland at the World Ploughing contest next year.

The affiliate’s flags were lowered as part of the 67th World Ploughing Contest Closing Ceremony and the Irish World Board member Anna May McHugh officially handed over the WPO flag to the 2023 host Latvia’s Augars Laursnovis.  The Conventional & Reversible World Ploughing Champions will be announced at tonight’s Gala Banquet.

The NPA would like to wish everyone a safe journey home and thank all for making this one of the most successful Championships of all time.

Great excitement as countdown to ‘Ploughing 2022’ begins

With two weeks to go until Europe’s largest outdoor event kicks off, preparations in Ratheniska, Co Laois are seriously taking shape as this green field transforms into the bustling city that will become #Ploughing2022.  There is also an extra buzz this year as Ireland will be hosting the 67th World Ploughing Contest. 

World Ploughing Organization General Secretary Anna Marie McHugh said “It is a massive honour for Ireland to welcome international delegations and their supporters from 28 countries all around the globe.  Where the very best plough men & women in the world will be battling it out to be crowned ‘World Champion’.  International teams have been arriving for the past few weeks and it is fantastic to have some of these teams here with us today.”

Today, the national media were treated to an exciting preview of what to expect at this year’s National & World Ploughing Championships, as the event was officially launched on the site. The media and special guests were entertained by local performers from Laois while prize-winning animals, quality machines, horses and hounds were all on display.

Launching the event, NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said “The Championships not only provides a national stage for showcasing all things that are great about Ireland but also brings together people from all sectors of Irish society both rural and urban, to enjoy three days immersed in country living.

There is also serious international appeal with exhibitors, global buyers and visitors coming from far flung countries such as France, the USA, UK, Uganda, Germany, India, Poland, Ghana, Belgium, New Zealand, France, Saudi Arabia, Lativa and the Netherlands making ‘Ploughing’ the perfect opportunity to show the very best of Ireland’s food, farming & culture.”

There will be millions of euro worth of agricultural and plant machinery on display featuring an extensive range of cutting edge agricultural technology and equipment, with the opportunity to see these in action in the machinery demonstration area. The leading manufacturers and agents will be present with specialist sales advisors and technical experts available for free

Visitors can take the opportunity to admire the marvellous quality livestock on display and learn about livestock management, genetics, nutrition and healthcare. Sustainability is very much a key theme for #Ploughing2022. At this year at ‘Ploughing’ there will be numerous green initiatives, for example the NPA will be promoting the use of recyclable products, food waste will be converted into energy through an anaerobic digester and there will also be solar panelled lighting towers, cardboard compactors, litter fines and waste separation operations on-site.”  Certa formally known as EMO Oil are providing the electricity for the event using HVO Hydrated Vegetable Oil (recycled cooking oil).  Also, Bank of Ireland will be giving out native Irish Hedgerow Plants as part of their programme.

There is no doubt that the entrepreneurial spark is alive and well in Ireland with an unprecedented number of diverse and exciting businesses from every county in Ireland exhibiting at the “Local Enterprise Village”. Enterprise Ireland have a tremendous display planned in the Innovation Arena which will include the finalists for the Innovation Awards this year but also the winners from 2020/21 and there will be  130 international buyers  in attendance which is great for business.
The ‘Ploughing’ is a haven for foodies, as all sectors of the food chain are represented from producer to retailer, artisan foods, craft beers, celebrity chefs, cookery competitions and much more.

In the national ploughing stakes a particularly strong programme has attracted entries from all around the country and Northern Ireland bringing the number preparing to plough in Laois to 311 for the 3 days.   

All of the firm favourite attractions are set to return this year such as Fashion Shows, Meggers, Sheep Shearing, Hunt Chase, Fun Fair, Food Trail, Craft Demonstrations, Pony Games, Live Music and Dancing, Vintage Ploughing, Threshing, Loy Digging, Motor Show with celebrities and well known faces everywhere Ploughing 2022 is not to be missed.

Certa to fuel this year’s ‘Ploughing’ as all roads lead to Laois this September

Spot a ‘Certa ‘billboard road sign and win tickets to this year’s National Ploughing Championships

NPA are delighted to announce Certa will be the official fuel sponsor for this year’s National Ploughing Championships taking place in Ratheniska, Co Laois on September 20th, 21st & 22nd.  Celebrating this collaboration, over one hundred promotional road sign billboards have been erected at strategic locations throughout the country. 

To be in with a chance to win a pair of complimentary tickets to this year’s event simply take a photo of a sign in your locality and share on NPA/Certa socials (*strictly when safe to do so).

At the Certa/Ploughing launch NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh spoke of how she was looking forward to working closely with Certa in the run up to and during this year’s Championships.  The NPA MD said “I am delighted that Certa are on board this year as the official fuel sponsorship partner of the largest outdoor event in Europe with 300,000 visitors expected throughout the 3 days.

Certa will supply all of the event fuel requirements for the 3 days including fueling all the generators for powering the site, the lighting towers that extend out to a radius of over 30 km from the main site, all the event machinery, upwards of 350 competitors tractors and nearly 50 international competitors who will be battling it out in 67th World Ploughing Contest.” 

Andrew Graham Managing Director of Certa said “After the postponing of the 2020 event, and limited attendance in 2021, it is truly excellent to see the National Ploughing Championships return full throttle for 2022.  At Certa, we are delighted to be working closely with the NPA as the official fuel & lubricants sponsors of this year’s event.

We are especially proud to be supplying our low-carbon, commercial biofuel – HVO to power all of the NPA generators on site which will reduce carbon emissions by up to 90% compared to previous years when diesel powered the generators. This is a great milestone for the event which is so central to Ireland’s rural community and we’re all greatly looking forward to an amazing three days in Co. Laois!”

Follow all of the excitement of the build up to #Ploughing2022