Minister of Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affairs of Northern Ireland, Edwin Poots MLA has wished competitors headed to Ballykelly this weekend for the European Ploughing Championships good luck.
Speaking ahead of the event which also includes the European Vintage Ploughing Championships and Horse Ploughing competition at Shackleton Barracks in Ballykelly this Friday and Saturday the Minister said he was pleased to have offered sponsorship of the event from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
In praising the NI Ploughing Association (NIPA) for hosting the European Ploughing Championships, the agriculture Minister said: “I’m pleased that Northern Ireland is hosting the European Ploughing Championships and that my Department is helping to sponsor the event. It is encouraging to note that 100 competitors are expected to take part, with some visitors coming from as far away as Canada.
“This event provides a further opportunity to showcase our agri-food sector to a wide audience, in addition to boosting the local rural economy through large visitor numbers, hotel bookings and dining etc.
“Being an avid machinery enthusiast myself, I am acutely aware of the skills required in handling the tractors and equipment and I would like to take this opportunity to wish the NIPA a successful event and all competitors the very best of luck for the competition.”
Set to be a family friendly fun-packed event, trade stands, horse ploughing exhibitions, children’s entertainment, crafts stalls and a vintage display are among a range of attractions that will be available onsite throughout the two day competition.
The event is hosted by the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association, the governing body of competition ploughing across Northern Ireland uniting 21 affiliated ploughing societies across the country with approximately 500 members.
Adrian Jamison, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association said of the event: “We are delighted to be bringing the European Ploughing Championships back to Northern Ireland and to be able to welcome our fellow ploughmen from across Europe to Ballykelly.”
He also explained that hosting events like the European Ploughing Championships helps people within the farming community “to congregate and meet as well as people in the local areas who are just interested in finding out a bit more about the agricultural traditions here in Northern Ireland.”
This year over 100 competitors are set to compete in seven different categories: World Style Reversible, World Style Conventional, Vintage Class, Horse Class and Horse Style & Appearance Class.
Competitors from Wales, England, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, the Isle of Man, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Scotland and Northern Ireland, are set to compete at Shackelton Barracks in Ballykelly this weekend.
The European Ploughing Championships take place at Shackleton Barracks in Ballykelly, Co Derry/Londonderry, on Friday and Saturday, September 2-3, 2022.