This year’s Northern Ireland International Ploughing Championships is set to welcome internet sensations the Grass Lads.
Made up of Conal (17) and Lorcan (12) Murray along with Matthew (16), Caolan (15), Connor (9), Jack (9) and Charlie Gill (6) the farm mad County Down boys have now had millions of views of their home-made videos online on YouTube.
As well as their YouTube videos the boys attend events such as the Ploughing Championships, organised by the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association, to put on mini silage demonstrations using lawnmowers with small versions of Kane Trailers (silage, low loader and tip and slide trailers), bale lifter, hay rake and Malone silage wagon. Organisers have confirmed they will be appearing on Saturday September 30 at Donaghcloney.
Meanwhile over 50 ploughmen will compete at the contest next weekend (Friday September 29 and Saturday 30). The winners will then go on to represent Northern Ireland at World and European level competitions in 2018.
The event organised by the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association (which is now in its 74th year) rotates around locations right across Northern Ireland and has been made possible with the support of volunteers and sponsorship from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and commercial sponsorship.
The two day programme sees the qualifiers taking place alongside trade stands with the finals on Saturday being geared towards spectators. The Donaghcloney fields, kindly loaned to NIPA by Tim McClelland, will also play host to the Six Nations Vintage Ploughing Competition and Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster Annual Fencing Competition and Soil Assessment.
Attractions will include free activities for children, arts and crafts alongside the impressive range of vintage tractors and ploughs and the wonderful spectacle of horse ploughing with heavy horses including Welsh Cobbs and Clydesdale horses – an age old art for all ages to appreciate.
Northern Ireland has 7 World Ploughing Champions in its midst and the World Ploughing Championships take place in Kenya in 2017 (1-2 December).