After days of rain which threatened the show’s return after two years, Saturday saw the gloom of the week replaced by the sun and thousands of visitors.
By noon the two new areas at Sandfield, made available by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, were packed.
With livestock in one area and the marquee, trade stands, dog show and entertainment – featuring Star Wars and the Trialstar motorcycle display team – in another, the show provided a key day of attractions for visitors from the locality and from much further afield.
Chairman, Niall Heena, said: “It had been a brilliant community effort to set up during a week which presented enormous difficulties. But the day itself rewarded those efforts. The livestock classes were well supported with particular increases in the sheep and horse sections. In the other area a packed marquee displayed over 1,000 entries which contributed to the overall success of the 2016 show.”
The show was officially opened by Fr. Moore of the Church of the Holy Family, Ardara, who spoke about the history of the show and its record. The quality of entries in the sixty class livestock section brought praise from the judges, as did entries in the marquee where 120 classes included cooking, garden produce, needlework, crafts, home-made wine, photography, painting and a children’s section.
There was an impressive display of vehicles by the Mid-West Donegal Vintage Club, and birds of prey were presented by Pedro Soltani. The well supported dog show, sponsored by Pedro Pet Foods, brought entries from the local area and as far afield as London.
Star Wars fans, both children and adults, eagerly awaited the arrival of the Storm Troopers and Atomic an 8ft tall speaking robot. Show secretary, Tracey McGill commented as the show drew to a close: “From a doubtful start it developed into a show which attracted thousand of visitors. Without doubt the 2016 event returned in style.”
Key livestock winners: Champion horse, Jim Steele. Champion pony, Jane Summerville
Champion calf and champion animal in confined, Martin McNelis. Overall pedigree champion, J O’Donnell Overall commercial champion, Martin McNelis
Champion black faced sheep open , Charles Tinney Champion sheep open, Christopher Johnston. Ecofleece class winner, Charles Tinney. Champion sheep confined black faced, Danny Kennedy.
Marquee: Rose of Show, Theresa Gallagher.
Dog show cup winners: Dulse and Carrageen Cup sponsored by Eddie Cunningham, Lucy West. Woofs and Wags Kennel Plaque, Charlene Cunningham. Downstrands Cup, Heather Neilands. Pedro Top Dog of Show, Kevin Byrne. The judge was Mr Martin Potts.