The 93rd National Ploughing Championships will take place in Ratheniska, Co. Laois in 2024

Europe’s largest outdoor event, “The National Ploughing Championships” is set to return next year to the central and scenic location of Ratheniska, Co Laois from September 17th to 19th for the third year in a row.

The well-liked site was confirmed as an excellent location for next year’s event at the National Ploughing Championships prize-giving ceremony attended by over 500 in Portlaoise.  Speaking after the announcement the NPA Managing  Director Anna May McHugh said “The NPA are delighted to be holding 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 enthusiastic to see a return to Co. Laois.”

“It worked well as a location this year despite the inclement weather conditions.  The site has proved popular for several reasons including its location in the middle of Ireland.”

Anna May McHugh also congratulated all of the winners who were awarded at today’s Prize-Giving Banquet.  Irish Ploughing has never been so well represented on the global stage and is the envy of other nations with the historic back to back wins of the Republic of Ireland team at the recent World Ploughing Contest in Latvia with both Eamonn Tracey from Carlow & Wexford’s John Whelan being crowned Supreme World Ploughing Champions in their respective classes.   In addition, there was a magnificent result at the European Ploughing Championships with Jer Coakley from Cork winning first place gold and Dan Donnelly from Wexford securing the Reserve European Ploughing Champion position.


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.

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.