UP to 10,000 people attended the 134th annual North Tipperary Agricultural Show in Nenagh on the August Bank Holiday Monday.
Despite the day being dull, the rain managed to stay away until the end when a light drizzle began to fall on the stragglers anxious to make the most of what was a great family day out.
The crowds began arriving from the start when the gates at the Old Showgrounds on the Borrisokane road opened at 10am, with many there to see the traditional cattle, sheep and showjumping aspects of the show, which were held before lunch.
Jim Lyons on the North Tipperary Social Services bookstall reported a brisk trade and had very little left on the shelves come 4pm.
Meanwhile, Monica Hourigan from Murroe said that she had attended other shows this summer and Nenagh was “by far the best. There is so much to see here.”
The constant stream of punters kept the food and trade stalls busy, with a massive queue waiting to sample the organic burgers at the Country Choice on Tour stall.
The dog show is always a great attraction and among the many pampered pooches were plenty of dogs whose pedigree might have been questionable to say the least. But for the kids it was like puppy heaven with so many cute and cuddly terrier, spaniel, husky and bichon friese pups all vying for a rosette.
The Animal Magic display run by Rosie Campbell attracted plenty of curious onlookers to see their owls, hawks and falcons, snakes and lizards.
Among the other sideshows were fire eaters and a bucking bronco, with few managing to stay on longer than 40 seconds.
But for sheer death-defying moments, Sergiy Khimich’s the Cossack and his horse provided plenty of thrills as he leapt, swung, hung upside down and in one trick managed to get himself around the horse’s neck and back on the saddle in two swift moves without once losing momentum.
Tom Berkery did a magnificent job persuading the ladies to take part in the Best Dressed Lady competition, encouraging 21 well coutured participants on to the stage. The winner was Jacqueline Dolan from Nenagh who was home for a visit from Canada, where she now lives. Runner-up was newly-wed Erica Flanagan-Walsh from Knockalton, who teaches in the Ursuline Convent in Thurles. Both left with a bag of goodies and beautiful Tipperary Crystal bowls. However Tom was not so successful getting as many men to display their finery, and young Adrian Leddin beat the competition to win himself a bottle of whiskey.
Among those spotted in the crowd were Deputy Noel Coonan, Cllr Conor Delaney and Mayor Virginia O’Dowd, while Nenagh town councillor and county councillor Hughie McGrath was urging people not to forget Nenagh’s newest festival, Shop and Bop, which he is helping to organise in the town on Saturday, August 13.
And, of course, show chairman, Cllr Tommy Moylan, could seen everywhere.