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National Ploughing Championships 2023

Ratheniska, County Laois, 17 - 19 September 2024

The dates and the location for the 2024 National Ploughing Championships have been announced.

Next year’s event – will return to Ratheniska, Co Laois from Tuesday September 17, 2024 to Thursday, September 19, 2024.

The National Ploughing Association (NPA) said that the 2023 event, held in Ratheniska, was “a triumph”, and that Ratheniska is a “widely popular site”.

Popularly known by the Irish to as “the Ploughing Match” or simply “the Ploughing” this is rural Ireland’s biggest annual event and a much anticipated date in the farming and social calendar.

The National Ploughing Championships takes place each year in the month of September.

The first inter- county ploughing contest took place in 1931 as a result of an argument between two lifelong friends, each argued that their respective counties had the best ploughmen. This resulted in a challenge being called for and the first National Ploughing contest took place in 1931 at Coursetown in Athy. Since then, the National Ploughing Championships has grown in size, year on year.It has expanded from requiring a small field of 26 acres to needing over 700 acres of land today....180 acres for ploughing, 100 acres for trade stands and exhibition space, 400 acres of car parking and a 25 acre demonstration area.

The National Ploughing Championships has become much more than just an annual inter-county competition; it has become an intrinsic part of Irish rural life.

The National Championships is still a contest pitting the skills of international ploughmen against each other but is now also a massive trade show, with livestock and machinery exhibitions and features something for just about every member of the community...a Tented Trade Village, a Food Fair, Craft Village, Livestock, Forestry, Education, Lifestyle, Motor Show, Financial Services, Bio Energy and Agri Service. Along with this, there are many entertainment and special events taking place.Some of these include: Fashion Shows, Celebrity Guests, Sheep Dog Trials, Loy Digging, All Ireland Lamb Shearing, Most Appropriately Dressed Lady & Gent Competitions, Craft Demonstrations, Meggers, Celebrity Cookery Demonstrations, Outdoor Radio Broadcasts and much more.

Its a veritable showcase for all things Irish with produce and with more than 1,700 exhibitors and nealry 300,000 visitors, it’s hard to convey just how large and diverse a gathering the National Ploughing Championship is.

Stay at the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel, in the heart of Kilkenny City; the only hotel in the city with a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and you'll be just a pleasant 45km drive to the Ploughing Championship in its Ratheniska, Co. Laois venue