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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Ireland’s oldest horse ploughing match returns this St Patrick’s Day in Co Antrim

Horse drawn ploughing match in field

Ballycastle and District Horse Ploughing Society are set to host their much-anticipated annual ploughing match on Monday 18th March.

Hailed as one of the oldest surviving annual Horse Ploughing and Heavy Horse Competitions in the whole of Ireland, the competition takes place on Saint Patrick's Day each year in the North Antrim coastal town.

The local area has produced some world class ploughmen in the last century and Ballycastle & District Horse Ploughing Society want to ensure that this great tradition survives for future generations.

Claire Lynn, Hugh McCaughan, and Gerard Cassley.

Pictured are Claire Lynn, Hugh McCaughan, and Gerard Cassley.

The field for the 2024 event has kindly been donated once again by James Black of Caret, and located on the Cushendall Road approximately, 1.25 miles from Ballycastle near the junction with Careymill Road.

Off-road parking will be available, as well as catering throughout the day!

Entries will be taken on the day and all classes are welcome including single horse class.

A spokesperson for Ballycastle & District Horse Ploughing Society commented:

"This is the only all horse ploughing match left in Ireland with its origins as far back as the early 1840s. At that time the matches were run by farming societies along with agricultural shows etc.

"The society in its present form was founded in 1902 and apart from a break during WW1 has run ploughing matches continuously up to the present day.

"Our aim is to keep the old skills alive and pass them on to the next generation. This makes for an interesting and enjoyable day out for everyone whether you have any knowledge of farming or not".

For further information please call:

Gerard Cassley (Chairman) 07801 015 367 or

Sean McAllister (Secretary) 07731 567 956.


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