It’s show time at Ballymoney

Sponsors Andrew Morrison and Clarence Calderwood from United and James Speers from Agro with YFC members at Ballymoney show launch
Sponsors Andrew Morrison and Clarence Calderwood from United and James Speers from Agro with YFC members at Ballymoney show launch

Ballymoney Show held its annual sponsors reception this week, kindly hosted by Lissanoure Castle, Loughguile.

A large number of sponsors, committee members and show volunteers were in attendance.

Guest for the evening was Hannah Kirkpatrick of Kilraughts YFC speaking on her recent YFCU International Exchange Programme to Canada.

Hannah spoke of her time in the different regions of Canada, the great friends she had made, and the wide range of experiences she had as an exchangee, one day white water rafting and the next being taught how to butcher a pig! It was clear Hannah had an amazing experience as part of her exchange and she rounded off by encouraging any YFC members to give it a go.

This year’s show to be held on 2nd and 3rd June promises a fun day out for all the family. Already organisers have a large number of exhibitors booked and the spaces in the craft marquees and dedicated ‘food village’ are filling up! Again they have a very enthusiastic show committee working hard in the background to ensure a successful 110th Show. Thanks must be extended to the generosity of the farming community and businesses province wide, which enable the presentation of generous prizes to exhibitors in all classes. They are indebted to Lissanoure Castle for the provision of the fine surroundings at this superb location. Sponsors were thanked for their support and financial contribution which is much appreciated.

Show Attractions

This year’s show promises entertainment for all ages. Amongst other things there’ll be the ever popular Pet Show, Childrens’ Entertainers, Childrens’ Superheros Fancy Dress Contest, Country Singers, DJ, the County Antrim YFC Football Competition, Tug – O –War, Mini Pony World and a varied programme of entertainment on stage over the course of the two days. Stage entertainment will commence at 5pm on the Friday and from 10am on Saturday. So there’ll be plenty for all the family to choose from to ensure enjoyable days out! The show is delighted to host the North District Semi Final of the ISA All Ireland Home Cook Champion over the course of the two days with involvement from RTE celebrity chef ‘Chef Adrian’.

Horse, Pony & Donkey

Section

On the Friday evening the committee continue to have Local Pony Riding Classes, followed by Open Pony Classes– entries for which will be taken on the field from 2.30pm, with classes due to commence at 3pm. The North West Working Hunter Ponies and Horses get underway at 4pm and 5pm respectively, again with entries taken on the field.

On Saturday in the main arena show classes commence with the Heavy Horses which are one of the highlights in the Horse section, attracting a large entry. There will be classes for Shetland, Welsh, Mixed Mountain and Moorland and Connemara Ponies and Donkeys. There will also be classes for the Ridden Hunters, Hunters in hand and Irish Draughts all taking place on Saturday morning. In the afternoon there are Heavy Horse Turnouts and Hackney Driving Classes. Organisers continue to have numerous qualifiers throughout the Horse section for both NI and All Ireland Championships – so be sure to check out the show schedule for full details.

Cattle Section

Livestock classes of the 2017 show promise to be another highlight at Ballymoney Show. The committee is fortunate to not only be in an excellent farming district which attracts local exhibitors but they also have long standing exhibitors who travel quite a distance to show at Ballymoney.

The show continues to hold Young Handler Competitions for both Beef and Dairy Sections, which this year organisers hope will see a further increase in the members competing. They again host qualifiers for NISA: McLarnon Feeds Dairy Cow Championship, the Linden Foods Pedigree Beef Heifer Championship, and the Bank of Ireland Junior Beef Bull Championship.

Sheep Section

Ballymoney show has consistently had over 500 sheep entries for many years now and for the 2017 show the committee has introduced new classes for Lleyn sheep as well as continuing to have a class for any other breed of sheep alongside the 18 different sheep breeds judged during recent shows. High quality qualifiers include the Danske Bank/NISA Best Ewe Championship, The ISA/Clogher Valley Show Society NI Continental Sheep Final For Ewe or Ram and the Cydectin Young Sheep Handlers Competition.

To encourage young exhibitors Ballymoney has its own Young Handlers Competition available for entry. The show committee look forward to another excellent turnout of sheep from a wide variety of breeds and classes.

Goat Section

This year sees 12 classes available for entry in the Goat Section, both in pedigree and non pedigree classes with generous prize money and silverware up for grabs.

Poultry Section

The show continues to have classes in Waterfowl, Large Soft Feather and Soft Father Bantams. It will continue to have additional classes for rare breeds and for childrens classes. The show also hosts the qualifier for ISA/Swinford Show Society All Ireland Bantam Chicken Championship. (Poultry Section dependant on movement restrictions being lifted).

Home Industries, Photographic and Schools Section

The Home Industries Section of the show is always very popular with almost 100 classes in total including Craftwork, Painting, Baking, Confectionery and Preserves. Also classes for Flower Exhibits, Photographic and Calligraphy and Handwriting Sections. The show also continues to have specially designated classes for YFC members covering craft, baking, floral art and photography.

The Schools Section has 120 classes for Craft Work, Art, Computer Art, Printing, and Flowers. Last year there were over 1200 exhibits in this section and organisers look forward to welcoming new schools who will be awarded generous prize money

The pre-school section proves very popular with classes for drawings, patterns and craft. Special school and unit pupils are also catered for with seven classes available.

The show continues to have classes for Secondary School Art, Technology and Baking, giving secondary schools an opportunity to display their talents once again. Classes are available for Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and A level students to enter 2D, 3D, mixed media and technology and design items they have produced as part of their coursework. Organisers look forward to a good entry from the local Secondary Schools.

North Antrim Agricultural Association is made up of a Board of Directors and a very enthusiastic show committee comprising of members from the three local Young Farmers Clubs – Finvoy, Kilraughts and Moycraig. Once again they take on the huge task of preparing the grounds, stewarding the classes and running an exciting entertainment programme for the two days. They are led by President; Frank McClure, Chairman; David Dunlop, Secretary; Anne McLaughlin, Treasurer; Trevor Gilmour and Press Officer; Carol McMullan.

Judges for this year’s show have already been confirmed, and the committee will be glad to be welcoming visiting judges from all over the British Isles and Ireland.

The Show Association gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance given by the sponsors who have provided special prize money and are deeply indebted to those donors who have augmented the prize money by their subscriptions. A full list of sponsors are detailed in the schedules, available on the website or can be obtained from the Show Secretary. Check out the website for further information regarding schedules, entry forms and closing dates, and entertainments programme. www.ballymoneyshow.org