It’s almost show time again

editorial image

Plans are very much underway for this year’s Ballymena Show being held on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th May 2017 and the show was launched at the annual press reception held at Eaton Park Rugby Club.

Chairperson, Robert Dick welcomed all to the reception with a particular thanks to all the sponsors of the event and the many volunteers who give of their time freely to ensure the show continues to be successful.

Robert also said he was delighted that Bank of Ireland UK continue as the Premium Sponsor of the show and the relationship developed between the two parties and also the agricultural sector as a whole.

Speaking at the launch Agri Manager for Bank of Ireland UK Richard Primrose added: “Bank of Ireland UK is proud to be premium sponsor at Ballymena Show for another year which promises to be a very enjoyable family day out. The show has a long history supporting and promoting the farming community within the local area, highlighting the importance of food and farming to the local economy.

“We understand the importance of developing strong working relationships to help enable farmers and food producers grow and strengthen their businesses for future generations and for the good of the local economy. The local Bank of Ireland team and I look forward to welcoming visitors to our stand.”

With the livestock sections of the show it remains very much business as usual. The cattle section is delighted to announce that they will be hosting the Beef Shorthorn National Show which will be a successful event and also encourage greater participation within these classes. Also returning for a second year, and building on last year’s success, is the NI Simmental Society’s Heifer Championship which has additional prize money on offer.

With the sheep section, which continues to grow year on year, the show are delighted that not only is the show continuing with the two new breeds introduced last year, the Suffolk Cheviot and Blue Texel but also, the Suffolk Sheep Society Northern Ireland Branch Championship will be hosted for the first time at Ballymena.

Within the horse section the Working Hunter Pony classes continue within it’s Friday night slot commencing at 5pm and additionally this year sees the introduction of a number of Draught classes. Within the show jumping the non-registered jumping continues for a second year, commencing at 7pm on the Friday.

The home industries section continues to grow in support and organisers welcome entries from local schools, WI and nursing homes alongside all the other competitors.

The Co Antrim competition continues however this year it is based on a Victoria Sandwich and will see the winners from Ballymena, Ballymoney and Antrim go forward when an overall winner will be selected. The floral art section continues with an overall theme of country life.

Sheep section sponsors with Catherine Crawford, sheep sub committee secretary

Sheep section sponsors with Catherine Crawford, sheep sub committee secretary

Also this year sees the introduction of the most appropriately dressed person competition at the show so organisers encourage all to dress up for this fun competition; judging will take place on the Saturday.

As in previous years, Ballymena Show fully appreciates the importance of young people within the agricultural sector who are very much the future of the show and continue to work alongside the three local YFC’s – Lisnamurrican, Glarryford and Ahoghill. The Co competitions continue on the Friday evening with the inter club tug of war and It’s a Knockout competitions being held on the Saturday afternoon with prize money being allocated to the winning clubs. These always encourage a great competitive spirit among all clubs with the emphasis being very much on having fun.

The organising committee are very much interested in attracting more visitors and entertainment for all the family is always at the forefront.

Robert reminded all that gates on the Friday night will open at 4pm with the NISSA sheep shearing championships and a fun dog show being held around 6pm.

Food demonstrations will be held on both the Friday and Saturday promoting healthy meals using locally sourced produce. Saturday events will continue with exhibits, entertainment and amusements.

Ballymena Show is supported by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council Major Grants Programme.

All schedules are now in circulation and entries can be made online.

Ballymena Show is held at Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday, May 26th from 4pm and Saturday, May 27th from 9am – for more information and a timetable of events check the show out online at www.ballymenashow.co.uk or join the show on Facebook.

Alternatively you can contact the show office by email on secretary@ballymenashow.co.uk