Bonniconlon Farm Open Day Support for Embrace FARM

Bonniconlon Farm Open Day

Taking place on Easter Saturday the farm open day boasts a jam-packed programme of family friendly games and activities. The event marks the beginning of the Spring Season, and everyone is welcome to come along. Proceeds from the day will be given to Embrace FARM, supporting farm families following serious injury and sudden death.

Bonniconlon Farm Open Day
Photo of some event volunteers (Rachael Mulhern – behind the scenes, Melissa Walsh, Geraldine Judge – event photographer, Pat Gallagher – patron, Patrick Walsh, Mark Greaney – rare breed specialist, Patrick Gallagher – traffic manager, Fiona Walsh – kids entertainment, Michael Ginley – raffle coordinator

Following the success of the inaugural Farm Open Day at Bonniconlon last year, the organisers Patrick and Melissa Walsh were approached to host the event again this Easter.
Speaking about the event, Patrick Walsh said: ‘We invite families to come along again this year to meet up, have some fun and continue to raise awareness of the importance of farm and road safety in our everyday lives.’

Melissa added: “In a rural community like Bonniconlon and North Mayo, South Sligo, we know that farming families have to deal with day-today farm safety and all sorts of other pressures facing this sector. We invite families to come along to meet others in the community and raise awareness of these, as well as enjoy a great day for all the family. Farming really is a family affair, and we are hoping young and old can take a break together and enjoy the occasion while helping our chosen charity.”

Bonniconlon Farm Open Day
Photo of Patrick and Melissa Walsh with the judges at Corrandulla Show 2023

Embrace FARM, the network that supports farm families following a sudden death or serious injury has been chosen as charity partner for the event again this year. ‘We are delighted to be part of this popular family orientated event again this year, we appreciate the huge effort the Walsh Family and their great support committee do in organising this event, so we would encourage everyone to please support their hard work for what is set to be a very exciting time again this year’, commented Embrace FARM’s General Manager, Norma Rohan.

The ’World’s Cutest Sheep’ Bonniconlon Valais Blacknose Flock will be a key feature of the Open Farm Day. Melissa Walsh excitedly informs us that ‘This year’s open day will offer the chance for children to get up close and personal with our Valais Blacknose sheep by leading them into the show ring to take part in our young handlers’ competitions.

There will be categories for Under 8, Under 12 and Under 16 on the day with everybody welcome to take part, no previous experience required! Only the well-handled Valais Blacknose flock will be used for the Junior Handler event. For the other Valais enthusiasts attending on the day, we will have guest speakers discussing all about how to prepare for the show ring, what to look for in a Valais Blacknose and tips on how to look after your sheep.’

There will also be a mega raffle, which is not to be missed and features a top prize of a PBR Breeding Pair of Valais Blacknose Sheep (not export eligible), sponsored by Bonniconlon Valais Blacknose. The coveted second prize will be a €300 Homeland Voucher, sponsored by Aurivo Coop and €250 Ocean Sands Voucher, sponsored by Ocean Sands Hotel, Enniscrone, plus lots more prizes. View all the prizes and more at (https://www.idonate.ie/raffle/BVB2024).

Singer Louise Langan will take to the stage mid-morning and the renowned Pat Boyle, and his country roadshow will be joining the action from 2pm. While the music entertainment is in full swing, children are invited to join the Easter egg hunt, penalty shoot outs, mini tractor rides, potato picking, tug of war, face painting or get stuck into our purpose-built sandpit which was a huge hit for our inaugural event in 2023 or you can take a ride on the Shore Farm Pony Therapy ponies!

Visitors can also visit the Valais Blacknose selfie station or say hello to the traditional farm animals on display. And if all that isn’t enough there is also a jiving competition in the covered marquee complete with dancefloor – prizes for First, Second and Third, as well as best Under-18 dancers.

Bonniconlon Farm Open Day
Photo of Patrick and Melissa Walsh with their breed champion Bonniconlon Keara at Bonniconlon Show 2023

Organisations supporting the event on the day will include An Garda Síochána, HSE, Fire Brigade, Teagasc as well as other local Agri Business support. Local businesses are also generously supporting the farm open day, donating generous prizes with lots of hampers and Easter surprises in store. Access via the Bonniconlon Show Grounds from 11am with an entry fee of €15 per car. With such a jam-packed day in store, there is only one place to be on Easter Saturday and that is Bonniconlon – home of the ‘World’s Cutest Sheep’ Bonniconlon Valais Blacknose flock!

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