The 2017 Point-to-Point & Country Fair at Dowth took place Sunday 29th October and saw over 6,000 visitors gather for the Meath & Tara Point-to-Point in Dowth; part of the Unesco World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne.
There was a jam-packed entertainment & Country Fair line up including the new addition of a Dog Show, the Maperath Mobile Farm, Newgrange Falconry, The Royal Meath Bee Keepers, Fly-Tiers, as well as Gun-dog and Fly Casting demos, Pony Rides and The Slane GFC Skills Zone.
Foodies sampled the best of local artisan produce in The Bank of Ireland sponsored Boyne Valley Food Series Market and enjoyed cookery demonstrations from food ambassador and Michelin star chef, Richard Corrigan and Peter Whelan of The Whole Hoggs & Kilian O’Donohoe of The Station House Hotel, Kilmessan.
Further epicurean treats were to be found in the Picnic Paddock food-on-the-hoof from awarding winning artisan food vendors whilst Boyne Brewery craft beer and the signature Dowth Hot Whiskeys made with Alex Conyngham’s Slane Whiskey & Dan Kelly Cider which were served from the Black Bull Bar overlooking the winning post.
Commenting on Today's Point-to-Point & Country Fair, Owen Brennan, Executive Chairman of the Devenish Group who hosted the event noted:- “It is truly wonderful to see the great turnout today. Whether exhibiting, attending or competing, we wish to thank everyone who was part of the day for their support for what was a great celebration of country living and community life.”
The card featured 6 races over 3 miles and fences. Trainer Michael Goff celebrated winning The Tattersalls Ireland Ascot and Cheltenham Sales 4yo Geldings Maiden with Good Man Jim under Shane Fitzgerald who might next appear at the sponsors Cheltenham sale. The Fleet Financial 5yo Geldings Maiden went to Jamie Codd who partnered with the Philip Dempsey trained Double You Be. The Jim Draper trained Cavite Beta won the feature race of the day; The Savills Open with Neil Bashford on board. The ITBA & Colliers International 5yo Mares Maiden went to Rob James aboard the R.P. Rath trained trained Larkfield Lass.
The penultimate race; The Boyd Stores 6yo Geldings Maiden went to the Anthony Fox ridden Star Wizard whilst Canadian Steel secured victory in the sixth and final race The James Gogarty Stone Winners Of One Race. A hotly contested Pony Club Race for children and ponies was run after the last official race was won by Alex Harvey who romped home on his trusted steed Teelings hope. This budding jockey is one to watch for the future.
The inaugural Dowth Dog Show included fun classes for Best Family Pet, Best Toy Dog, Dog most like its Owner, Best Dressed Dog, Best Junior Handler, Waggiest Tail the overall prize of Best in Show which went to Rosco, the great Dane with prizes sponsored by Equipet.
Visitors also enjoyed perusing the Shopping Village with brands such as Dubarry, Sports Den, John Fitzgerald Art, Nyles & Rafe, Carol Sheridan Interiors, Baavet, Siobhan English Photography, Chislers Kids Clothing, Swaggles Dog Collars,as well as a wide range of craft exhibitors including The Battle of The Boyne Visitor Centre
.Younger guests enjoyed a wide range of free children’s entertainment and good old-school outdoorsy fun with pumpkin carving, bouncy castles, puppet shows, face-painting, magic shows, arts and crafts, outdoor games on offer in the Free Kids Zone.
All in all the craic was had at this year’s Point-to-Point and Country Fair in Co. Meath. It’s one not to be missed again.