GOREY SHOW 2023
We had been looking forward to Gorey Agricultural Show on June 17th for the past month and making it a treat day for the family. It was the main topic of discussion all week and then suddenly the rain gods took a hand in it and gave us free supplies of much needed water on Friday night and Saturday morning. Welcome as the rain was It did not look like good Gorey Show weather.
We hesitated about going until our 5-year-old said that we all had raincoats, boots and brolllies and that we should go and so off we went to Ashton where we entered and parked up at the show venue.
Our first port of call was the cattle judging where attendants pushed and shoved and puffed trying to get some reluctant cattle move into a judging arena. We waited for one competition and the juniors were delighted when they saw their chosen cow being awarded the red rosette for first place.
And so, it was on to the sheep judging. I never saw such a variety of sheep and some goats. They were white faced and black faced, horned and horn free. We had black sheep and even one yellow and black. The lady showing off the sheep assured us that the sheep had been to the hairdresser for some colour that day. She sounded convincing until she burst out laughing and gave her game away. Another lady was using coconut oil to fluff up the sheep’s coats before the judging. You never saw such fuss, but all was very necessary.
And then there was a little commotion as Willie Cecil arrived with special guest Sean Kelly M.E.P. Andrea Mc Cann brought us on a tour of the sheep and I was flabbergasted to hear that one of the sheep cost 2200 euros. Her knowledge was better than any google and far more accessible.
We were enthralled by the man who was marshalling 5 geese up and down the central green pathway with 5 sheepdogs or should I call them goose dogs. He was cool, calm, and unflappable.
Now the next area was full of horse boxes with pony clubs relay activities in full gallop. We really enjoyed this as well as the horses jumping over fences. We strayed along to watch hunters and others strutting their stuff to impress the judges.
Now the energy levels were dropping and had to be replenished with hot dogs, chips and burgers all served from clean wagons with great speed and efficiency. It was outdoor dining only and the rain gods acted up for a wee while, but it was just a matter of raising the brollies and we continued dining.
In the background dogs were barking and the P A was calling for all puppies to enter the ring for judging. We saw a couple of categories, including the working dogs, being judged which was a very educational experience with dogs trotting and being tested for muscle, shape, and form etc,
As a gentle mist was beginning to fall, we headed for the Kiddies art and craft section where we saw a huge variety of children’s art, handwriting and other creative skills There were photos of best sports scene, weather., friendship, creative photo and many more. We saw lots of children’s writing, art, and craftwork. There were many proud children and their parents and grandparents taking lots of photos for family albums of the winning rosettes.
There was also a lovely display of eggs, preserves, jams, scones, brown bread, chocolate cakes, cup-cakes and many more in addition to the display of the winners of the various vegetable categories with fresh lettuce, onions, rhubarb, and cabbage on show. It was heartening to see many of the familiar people on duty in the various competition venues.
Now one of our juniors spotted the hook a duck stall and so we had to subscribe to this adventure which they enjoyed and off they trotted with their prizes.
There were geese and cockerels making much clatter from their confined pens, but they all looked well and seemed to be enjoying the fun of being total celebrities for the day as they posed for hundreds of photos before their resumption of normal duties at home.
We visited tractor and car stands, garda and bank stands, haberdashery, and sweet stands. We saw threshing and steam engines; kiddies slides and amusements and much more.
Once again, this year, it was a supremely well organised, safety conscious, family show which was evident to me from the very moment we arrived till we left with lots of courteous stewards on duty everywhere. It’s a great social event for Gorey and it was pity that the rain was so heavy in the early part of the day that it deterred some people from attending.
We did as our 5-year-old suggested and dressed for the weather. We had a wonderful enjoyable day out, meeting friends and neighbours while experiencing and enjoying such a great variety of stall and products, and the heavy rain held off.
Thank you, Gorey Agricultural Show Committee, for show 2023. It was super. We loved it.
Mick O Callaghan 18/06/2023.