Roger Mulqueen with the board in his farmyard in Bruff and below, a close up Pictures: Michael Cowhey
A COUNTY Limerick farmer could be accused of ‘fowl play’ this week after leaving a list of strict instructions and possible punishments for his staff as he heads off to the Cheltenham Festival.
But, as it turns out, there will be no objection from the ‘grassroots’ as the farmer has ‘no beef’ with said workers.
In a bid to to spark up a bit of craic before he makes the trip to the Cotswolds, Roger Mulqueen has erected a sandwich board in his farmyard in Bruff outlining what is not to happen during the National Hunt showpiece.
“No cow is to calf between 1.30pm on Tuesday and 5.40pm on Friday – Cheltenham Races,” reads the instructions, which are outlined in white chalk on the blackboard.
There follows a list of punishment for any possible breaches of these rules ie in the event of a cow calving.
The birth of a single calf will result in a verbal warning; twins, a written warning; triplets will see Roger head off to Aintree in April, while quads will result in Roger bagging a load of free nuts and a possible appearance on The Late Late Show.
He signs off the diktat: ‘Yours in calving, Roger Mulqueen’.
“When I was working in Fine Wines I had money so I used to go to the March meeting every year but now that I’m farming I have no money – I can only go for one day,” laughed Roger, who is making the journey to Prestbury Park on Thursday morning with his good friend Tiernan Ryan of The Corner House Bar in Athlacca.
“I worked in Fine Wines for 10 years and I was at the March meeting for six years in-a-row,” he explained.
A single bachelor farmer who lives at home with his parents Sean and Bridie, Roger has never missed the winter meetings which are held at the Cotswolds track in November.
"I was on a stag there last November and there were 37 of us – a fine mixed bag!”
His big interest on Friday is in the Foxhunter Challenge Cup which will see Enda Bolger’s On The Fringe bid for an elusive Festival treble.
"Enda comes into our place, that’s why we are heading over. It would make my Cheltenham to see On the Fringe winning,” he added.