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Tractor football and sheep spas at Irish ploughing championships

Tractor footballImage copyright National Ploughing Championships
Image caption A tractor football match was extremely popular with attendees

What do tractor football, a milking academy and a sheep spa have in common?

They were all part of the fun this week at one of Europe’s largest agricultural events.

The 85th Irish National Ploughing Championships took place over three days in Tullamore, County Offaly.

And with a record attendance of 283,000 — including Olympic rowing silver medallist celebrities Gary and Paul Donovan — organisers declared the event the most successful ever.

Sheep pedicure?

Image copyright National Ploughing Championships
Image caption Many visitors tested their milking skills on these udders

Marie Byrne from Kilkenny was among the thousands of exhibitors showing off her rather unusual invention: a sheep spa.

Image copyright Marie Byrne
Image caption The sheep spa, which debuted at the Ploughing Championships, has a powdered solution, mineral lick and scratching post

The unique contraption allows sheep to have a bath and a pedicure (well, powder bath and a foot treatment for foot rot), get their minerals and have a good old scratch on the scratching post.

Image copyright National Ploughing Championships
Image caption Tweeds were the order of the day on the catwalk

It wasn’t all ploughing and sheep shearing at this year’s event: the tractor football match was extremely popular with attendees.

And, as well as sheep-shearing and dancing, there was also a fashion show element to proceedings.

Wellies and tweed were the order of the day on the catwalk.

Image copyright National Ploughing Championships
Image caption There were traditional and more modern events at the championships