It’s show time again at Ballymena but with a twist as the date moves!

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Plans are very much underway for this year’s Ballymena Show which has a change of date this year, Saturday 16 June 2018 with show jumping and working hunter pony classes only on the Friday evening.

On Thursday 3rd May the show was officially launched at the annual press reception held at Eaton Park Rugby Club.

Chairperson Joe Adams welcomed all with a particular thanks to all the sponsors whose generosity ensures that the show can continue to be a success year on year. A note of thanks was also forwarded to all those who volunteer or assist in any capacity and to those who enter the many and varied sections.

In attendance at the press reception was the newly appointed Show Queen, Kathryn Speers who represented Ahoghill YFC. Each year the committee hold this fun based competition with competitors from all three of the Young Farmer Clubs; they look forward to seeing Kathryn throughout the show season.

Within the livestock sections of the show it remains very much business as usual and sees the return for the third year of the NI Simmental Society’s Heifer Championship, which will hopefully encourage greater attendance. Within the Sheep section, which continues to exceed all expectations with the number of entries each year, sees the continuation of the new sections introduced last year, Suffolk Cheviot and Blue Texel both of which are a great success. All those who support the committee through the poultry section are delighted to see its return this year and all are hoping for a high number of entries.

The Working Hunter Pony section remains in it’s Friday evening slot and this year sees the continuation of the Irish Draught class. Within the Show Jumping section the non-registered jumping continues and all horse classes can be entered on the day.

Within the Home Industries Section as always organisers welcome the entries from the local schools, WI and nursing homes alongside all the other competitors. The County Antrim Chocolate Cake Competition continues this year with each winner from Ballymena, Ballymoney and Antrim Shows going towards the overall final.

Also this year the most appropriately dressed person competition will continue and organisers welcome the introduction of a children’s fancy dress general themed competition. This will give the children an opportunity to come along as their favourite character and also see the many exhibitors that they and others have entered via their respective schools.

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 continues to work alongside the three local YFC’s – Lisnamurrican, Glarryford and Ahoghill.

The County Competition will be moved to the Saturday alongside the inter club Tug-of-War Competition. These always encourage a great competitive spirit among all local clubs with the emphasis very much on having fun!

Also on the Saturday family entertainment will be the order of the day. This includes a fun pet show, NISSA Sheep Shearing Championships, children’s entertainment, floral art demonstrations, food demonstrations concentrating on healthy eating and local produce, a wide variety of stalls and entertainment on the stage including Tony Kerr and his band.

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

Ballymena Show is being held at Ballymena Showgrounds on Saturday, 16 June from 9am to 6pm.

Show jumping and WH Pony classes only will be held on the Friday 15 June – for more information and a timetable of events check them out online at www.ballymenashow.co.uk or join on facebook.

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

The committee look forward to seeing you then and thank you for your continued support!