‘Star of the Future’ class at Armagh Show

Mason's Animal Feeds will again be sponsoring the Star of the Future dairy calf class at this year's Armagh Show
Mason's Animal Feeds will again be sponsoring the Star of the Future dairy calf class at this year's Armagh Show

Armagh County Agricultural Show has confirmed that the Mason’s Animal Feeds’ Dairy Star of the Future class will again feature at this year’s event.

The competition is for heifer calves born after September 1st 2016.

“Calves of any dairy breed, pedigree or non-pedigree, are eligible,” confirmed show committee chairman Stephen Hamilton.

“There is a first prize on-offer of £250 with the runner-up receiving £200.

“This unique class was launched at last year’s show. It was a tremendous success and we want to build on all of this in 2017. I would like to thank Mason’s Animal Feeds for their very generous sponsorship.”

He added: “It’s all about getting new blood involved in the showing of dairy cattle. This has been an aspiration long shared with the management team at Mason’s and working together with company managing director Colin Purdy, we have come up with an innovative format.”

Mason’s Animal Feeds is delighted to be involved with Armagh Show again in 2017.

“As a business we are very aware of just how important milk production is to the economy of the Armagh and further afield throughout Northern Ireland,” said Colin Purdy.

“We also know that there are lots of young handlers and breeders out there who need that little bit of encouragement to show their stock. And, hopefully, the new competition class will do just that.”

Stephen Hamilton is very conscious of just how important sponsorship is, when it comes to running an event like Armagh Show.

“Our Premier Sponsors in 2017 are Fane Valley Co-op; SONI (Systems Operator for Northern Ireland); Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

“Without the support of these organisations, it really would be difficult to put on an event of the scale which Armagh Show has become.”

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Garath Keating, spoke at the sponsors’ evening. He highlighted the importance of Armagh Show in profiling the tremendous quality of the food produced by so many businesses in the council area.

“But this is only made possible by the commitment and ongoing investment made by the large number of farming families, all of whom have such a strong heritage within the area,” he said.

“Armagh Show sets a tremendous standard. And this is a credit to everyone involved.”

Council chief executive Roger Wilson echoed these comments: “Armagh Show has a history stretching back over 200 years. The new Council truly recognises the importance of the event and its significance as a shop window for farming and food in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon areas.”

Stephen Hamilton commended the commitment made by Fane Valley Co-op to the event over many years.

“Another key sponsor in 2017 will be SONI. This is the second year of the company’s involvement with the Show. SONI operates and develops the electricity grid, bringing power to every part of Northern Ireland.”

This year’s Armagh Show takes place on Saturday June 10th. As always, the event will comprise a mix of:

Livestock Classes: The full range of classes will be on parade for Dairy and Beef Cattle, Sheep, Goats and Pigs … and maybe even other rare and exotic breeds!   In the cattle and sheep rings, classes for rare and minority breeds will be held and there are a number of qualifying classes for stock to qualify for finals held at other shows later in the year.  In the afternoon, after all the stock have been judged, there is a parade of cattle prize-winners around the cattle lawns and this is a sight not to be missed.

Equestrian Classes: Again, in the equestrian section, there is a full range of in-hand and ridden classes for ponies and horses including, donkeys, clydesdales and miniatures.  There is also a number of Irish Shows Association qualifiers for in-hand horses and these are listed in the prize schedule.  There is also unaffiliated show jumping for ponies and horses with an attractive prize fund.  All the classes and other activities in the equestrian section are listed in the prize schedule on the Forms Page and entries can be made online.

Home Industries: Year on year, the Home Industries entries for Adults, Secondary and Primary schools children continues to grow and competition for rosettes is always keenly fought.  In addition to the Craft entries, Baking and Flower Arranging the show welcomes entries from the Womens Institute (Gosford Area only), and the Young Farmers. Schedules showing all the various classes will be available from the website and online entries will open after our show launch on the 26th April 2017.  Entries close at midnight on 31st May 2017.   Make sure to visit the marquee and take a leisurely walk around the exhibition to view the amazing entries.

A feast of fine food.  After the success of the Artisan Food Market and cookery demonstration last year organisers are hoping to repeat this aspect of the Show and plan to run a Food Village area showcasing local artisan and speciality food produce.  This really will give visitors to the Show the chance to experience the agri-food industry from ‘gate to plate’ and to discover the delights of locally produced artisan food and drink.

Other attractions: There are many other competitions and activities for visitors to enjoy at Armagh Show including the prestigious N Ireland Hound Show.   In addition, they will continue to run a wide range of enjoyable activities including: the hugely popular Dog Show and for the first time, dog agility classes, the large Vintage exhibition; the funfair; live music; young farmers’ club activities and the large number of trade stands advertising and selling their wares  …… and many other attractions too numerous to mention.  

Other attractions include the Grass Lads who do a full silage demonstration with miniature sized equipment - again children will love this. Lawnmower racing is one of the more unusual forms of motor sport. In addition, Collone Young Farmers are hosting Jiving competition with Ritchie Remo.

There will be something to entertain everyone … both young and old … get there early to enjoy it all!

For further information, check out the Show website on www.armaghshow.com