On Friday evening, July 6, with the rain bucketing out of the heavens and a not very encouraging weather forecast, the decision had to be made that the Show would go ahead regardless of the conditions. The courage of the landowners and the extraordinary perseverance of the volunteers on the ground saw to it that everything was in readiness for a really special show. The only caveat remaining was that from the Civil Defence who would provide the ambulance was that if they were put on ‘flood alert’ they would not be able to come.
Saturday, July 7, against all the odds dawned bright and clear. Fethard Macra na Feirme helped with the layout of the field and the committee laid on transport from the centre of the village to the showgrounds (100 yards) as many of the larger boxes chose to stay on the hardstand outside Keane’s. A drying wind saw to it that by the end of the day most trailers could get out of the field under their own steam although there were tractor men there to pull out any that couldn’t manage that feat. RTE’s Nationwide crew came to record the 50th Show for posterity and viewers will see Killusty in all its magnificence for the first and hopefully not the last time this year. The programme will be broadcast on Friday August 17.
Not all the activities on Show Day were in the rings however. A History tent told the story in photographs since that first show in 1962 and many were intrigued to see so many familiar faces that had started their equestrian (and other) careers in the ring at Killusty. The characters from the past who had made Killusty the Show to come to were all displayed and the stories flowed about the good times. There was a section too where viewers were asked to put names to faces and a lot of information was garnered to be put away for another year or two. Local primary schools had entered an Art competition and the winning entries were on display.
The Dog Show, judged this year by Roz Purcell well-known as an elegant model but not so well-known as a graduate of the Killusty Show Ring and Paul Donovan, attracted the usual huge entry with tremendous interest being shown in the result. The Fancy Dress Class was ably judged this year by Gaye Mullen but Jonathan O’Grady who very generously sponsored the prizes this year has already been booked to judge next year.
To mark the 50th year of the Show, judges, stewards sponsors and helpers of all sorts from the fifty years were asked to lunch in a marquee to thank them for making the show a success for all that time. A great time was had by all and weather was the best to be had all ‘summer’ very much against the odds. Slievenamon never looked better and the Anner at the bottom of the Show field claimed no prisoners. It was a day to remember for years to come.