Show to be biggest yet

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ARRANGEMENTS were well in hand for the Lurgan Horse and Cattle Show, in Lurgan Park, way back in 1966.

With more than £850 in cash prizes and some 26 cups to be won the 1966 show promised to be bigger and better than ever.

Entries in some sections, particularly home industries, showed a marked increase on the previous year. And there was to be a section, believe it or not, for goats. The newly introduced cat show proved to be a huge success in the 1965 show.

The show committee with its band of volunteers explored every possibility in its efforts to keep Lurgan among the leading shows in Ireland.

Horses, cattle, poultry, goats, dogs, cats, home industries, jumping, riding and driving, these were the sections that would have attracted the large crowds to the park on the big day. Despite the fact that the poultry was called off the year before - this was due to the foul pest - entries increased.

Altogether there were 78 classes for poultry and, there was an added attraction for egg producers.

Show secretary, Mr Noel Hayes, said: “This is a big come back for the poultry section.”

Mr Hayes must have been one of the busiest men in Lurgan for there were many entries flooding in for the various sections.

According to Mr Hayes there was to be a big surprise for visitors in the cat section, which was basically more of an exhibition than a competition.

In the goat section there were three sections for which more than 20 entries were received.

Mr Hayes pointed out: “This is a very good reception for the first year. I am surprised at the response.”

And it was another story of increased entries for the dog section. Indications were that 1965’s figure of 500 entries, were to be exceeded.

Lusby and Son, of Killfennan, Londonderry, were well known for their herd of Ayrshires and had carried off many major trophies at shows all over Ireland, planned to join the exhibition for the Lurgan Show.

They had 14 entries for the cattle section, which all together had 35 classes for cross-breds, Ayrshires, Aberdeen Angus, Hereford, Friesians and Jerseys. The one notable exception in this, of course, was Shorthorns.

Mr Hayes explained: “There are very few Shorthorns around and the number of entries would not warrant a class. However, it could be re-introduced in the future.”

Judging was due to start in the morning at 10am for the cattle, goats and the children and adult’s riding competitions. The poultry judging was another item, which was to take place in the morning. Two well known judges, one from Aberdeen and the other from Kings Lynn, Norfolk, did this work while Captain H Freeman Jackson of Mallow, Cork, who was well known as a horse breeder, judged the horse and he was to be accompanied by his wife.