The Northern Ireland Ploughing Association held their launch for the 70th Northern Ireland International Ploughing Championships which will be held this year in Bushmills.
The event, sponsored this year by Donnelly & Taggart, Campsie, and incorporating the Five Nations Ploughing Championships, will be held on the MacNaughten Estate on 18th & 19th October.
The 70th International Ploughing Championships will be held for the fifth time in Bushmills. This year, the NIPA will also host the Five Nations Ploughing Contest. Top competitors from across UK and Ireland will join the national finals competing in eight ploughing classes which will showcase the excellence in conventional, reversible, vintage and horse ploughing.
The launch was held in The Causeway Hotel. Representatives from NIPA stakeholders included Victor Pollock (Sales Director) Joel Johnston (Field Sales), Gerald Doherty (Sales Manager VW) all of Donnelly & Taggart Group Campsie; Ian Chapman, Farm Manager MacNaughten Estate Bushmills; Lorna Watson, DARD; Martyn Blair, President YFCU; John Henning, Deborah Reid and Sean McCormick, all Danske Bank; Albert Wallace, UFU; Kenny Gracey, Forthill Farms and Joe Toner, F P McCann.
NIPA representatives included Lawrence McMillan, Patron; William King, President; Wilson Holden, Chairman; Brian McNally; Vice-chairman; Joyce Peden, Secretary; Glenn Kerr, Treasurer and several members from NIPA Central Committee.
Lindley Deans, NIPA Reception Committee, welcomed guests to the launch of this year’s prestigious event and introduced NIPA Chairman, Wilson Holden, who highlighted plans for this year’s contest. “Following a successful championships last year in Drumahoe, the NIPA are delighted to be back on this excellent site in Bushmills. We are extremely grateful to the MacNaughten family for kindly agreeing to be our hosts again. The NIPA has a long and proud history and we appreciate that we are able to celebrate our 70th anniversary in this historic site.
“Apart from the ploughing, there are many different attractions for all the family to enjoy at our event this year. We are looking forward to hosting top competitors from NI, Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales to compete in the five Nations Ploughing Championships which will run in conjunction with our national finals. As well as our usual trade exhibitors from across the agricultural sector and beyond, we are indebted to the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster who hold their fencing competition and soil assessment which attracts over 20 clubs from all across the province..”
Mr Holden welcomed Mr Victor Pollock his team from Donnelly & Taggart, Campsie, who will be Principal Sponsor of the ploughing championships. Joel Johnston, of Donnelly & Taggart Group, addressed guests at the launch: “Donnelly & Taggart have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with the NIPA. We work closely with the farming community supplying 4x4 vehicles and we look forward to partnering together with the NIPA to host this year’s NI Ploughing Championships.”
Ian Chapman, Farm Manager of MacNaughten Estate, welcomed the ploughing championships back to Bushmills, adding: “We are really glad to be hosting the ploughing championships again. It is a key date in the calendar for the agricultural community, and we wish competitors every success at the event.”
NIPA President, William King, thanked the PSNI for their assistance for helping to organise this year’s event and also thanked Danske Bank, sponsor of the Trade Stands Award, for their continued support.
Northern Ireland is recognised worldwide for its achievements worldwide level.