This year’s Castlewellan Show on July 18th looks set for another busy year as entries begin to flow in for the 300 classes with sections for cattle, horses/donkeys, goats, pigs, sheep, poultry, dog agility, rabbits and home industries.
The launch night was very well attended with guest speakers journalist and broadcaster Karen Patterson, Jim Harrison President of the Irish Shows Association and Newry, Mourne & Down Council Chairperson Naomi Bailie giving plenty of food for thought. There was a real acknowledgement about the contribution of the Show to the local economy, the volunteering ethos associated with it and the quality of livestock and other exhibits which it attracts every year.
Show Secretary Jackie Fitzpatrick was delighted to announce EDA Media as the new gold sponsor as well as new classes in the sheep, dog agility sections and for Limousin Young Handlers. Chairperson Frances McAlinden praised the work of the committee and highlighted the addition of ISA Final of the Yearling Colt/Gelding All Ireland Championship as a great addition to the horse section.
The native and traditional breeds cattle section this year is once again proving popular and is an important way to promote the more rarer and re-established breeds. A strong field is expected for the beef championship with David Lowry from Lanark doing the judging. The dairy classes go from strength to strength with great interest to date. Castlewellan continues to be the largest one day sheep show, with over 700 entries last year and a new Blue Texel class will spark additional interest. The inter breed final is predicted to be the most competitive yet and the young handlers competition always brings forward some new talent. Within the goat section, the back to back two day goat show has been retained with milking on the Friday morning and evening. The poultry section has increased with new classes in game and soft feather. While the pig section is small, it always proves popular with show goers, particularly the rare breeds. The rabbit classes were a big draw for exhibitors and visitors last year and organisers are expecting a large number of entries.
Castlewellan continues to attract large numbers of horses, ranging from miniature to agricultural horses with classes and qualifiers throughout the day for Non Thoroughbred, Half Bred, Irish draughts, hunters, ponies, donkey and hackney classes. The Search for A Star Young Horse Championship has now become an annual feature with a prize fund of £1000. Once again Mossvale Riding Club will facilitate a range of classes in the unaffiliated show jumping and entry is on the day.
The most popular tent on Show Day is home industries with art, baking, crafts, knitting, photography, jams galore. The local Women’s Institutes have been challenged to produce a display with the theme of ‘A Walk In The Countryside. Families have a chance to show their talents to come up with the best scarecrow, the ugly bug ball and there will be the small pets competition on the day. The dog agility events have grown over the years with David Duncan once again in charge of proceedings and Neris Ball in judging mode.
The deadline for entries is June 22nd. The Show is also accepting applications for trade stands in the gourmet foods and craft tents as well as the outdoor space. With over 10,000 people expected on Show Day, it offers a great opportunity to promote local enterprise. You can download entry and booking forms from the website www.castlewellanshow.com and follow on facebook and twitter @CastlewellanSho for updates. You can also contact Show Secretary Jackie Fitzpatrick at JackieCastlewellanShow@gmail.com or 028 40638087