Last week saw Ballymoney Show hold its annual sponsors reception, hosted by Lissanoure Castle, Loughguile.
A large number of sponsors, committee members and show volunteers were in attendance. Guest for the evening was Mr Colin McDonald, Chief Executive RUAS.
Mr McDonald spoke to the gathering on his involvement within the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth and on a recent study completed on three shows worldwide in America, Australia and England. He praised the efforts of the youth volunteers involved in Ballymoney Show, namely the members of the three local YFC’s – Finvoy, Kilraughts & Moycraig, and wished the show every success for the future.
This year’s show to be held on June 3-4 promises a fun day out for all the family. Already there is a large number of exhibitors booked and the spaces in our craft marquees and dedicated ‘food village’ are filling up.
The very enthusiastic show committee working hard in the background to ensure a successful 109th 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.
The committee is also indebted to Lissanoure Castle for the provision of the fine surroundings to host the show launch.
Friday evening the 3rd June promises entertainment for all ages. Amongst other things there’ll be our ever popular Pet Show, Childrens’ Entertainers, the County Antrim YFC Football Competition, Tug–O–War and a varied programme of entertainment on stage from 6.30pm.
For those of you who can’t make it on Friday night, not to worry, because Saturday will host a showcase of events as well. So there’ll be plenty for all the family to choose from to ensure an enjoyable day out.
Horse, Pony & Donkey
Friday evening continues to have local pony ridden show classes, followed by Local Pony & Hunter Breeding Classes – entries for which will be taken on the field from 2.30pm, with classes due to commence at 3pm.
The Route Hunt Unaffiliated Show Jumping for Ponies & Horses and the North West Working Hunter Ponies & Horses get underway at 4pm & 5pm respectively.
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. For the first time this year the ridden Clydesdale/heavy horse class is a qualifier for the Blair Castle International Horse Trials.
There will be classes for Shetland, Welsh, Mixed Mountain and Moorland and Connemara ponies and Donkeys. There will also be four classes for the Ridden Hunters, followed by two classes for Racehorse to Riding Horses. Classes for hunters in hand followed by the Irish Draught also take place on Saturday morning.
There are numerous qualifiers throughout the Horse section for all Ireland Championships – so be sure to check out the show schedule for full details.
Livestock classes of the 2016 show promise to be another highlight at Ballymoney Show.
Ballymoney is fortunate to not only be in an excellent farming district which attracts local exhibitors but also long-standing exhibitors who travel quite a distance to show.
Ballymoney Show continues to hold young handler competitions for both beef and dairy sections, which organisers hope will see a further increase in the numbers competing.
The show will host qualifiers for NISA - McLarnon Dairy Cow Championship, the Linden Foods Pedigree Beef Heifer Championship, and the Junior Beef Bull Championship.
Ballymoney show has consistently had around 400-500 sheep entries for many years now and for the 2016 show they will continue 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 CydectinYoung Sheep Handlers Competition & The ISA/Clougher Valley Show Society NI Continental Sheep Final For Ewe or Ram.
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.
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.
This year classes have been streamlined to make them more attractive. The show continues to have additional classes for rare breeds and for childrens classes.
Qualifiers include the ISA/Swinford Show Society All Ireland Bantam Chicken Championship.
Photographic and Schools Section
The Home Industries Section of the Show is always very popular with almost 100 classes for craft, painting, baking, preserves, confectionery and flower exhibits. A great opportunity for the talent in North Antrim to display their wares and win prizes.
This year organisers are delighted to welcome the ‘County Antrim Shows Decorated Cushion Cover’ class to the craft work section.
The Photographic Section has a range of nine classes available for entry and the Section for YFC members now has six classes 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 1,200 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.
There will be 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.
North Antrim Agricultural Association is made up of a Board of Directors and 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 two days. They are led by chairman Gordon McConaghie; secretaries James and Rosemary Morrison; Treasurer Trevor Gilmour and Press Officer Carol McMullan.
Judges for this years show have already been confirmed and are coming from all over the British Isles and Ireland.
The Show Association gratefully acknowledges 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 is available on the show website or can be obtained from the Show Secretary.
For further information regarding schedules, entry forms and closing dates, and entertainments programme see www.ballymoneyshow.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.