Packed programme for annual Ballymena Show

Ballymena Show being held on Friday and Saturday, May 26 and 27, was launched at the annual press reception held at Eaton Park Rugby Club.
Ballymena Show being held on Friday and Saturday, May 26 and 27, was launched at the annual press reception held at Eaton Park Rugby Club.

Plans are very much underway for this year’s Ballymena Show being held on Friday May 26 and Saturday May 27.

The show was launched last week 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 said: “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 it will be hosting the Beef Shorthorn National Show which is expected to be a successful event and to 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 organisers are delighted that not only are they 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 its Friday night slot commencing at 5.00 pm, and additionally, this year sees the introduction of a number of Draught classes. Within the show jumping category, the non-registered jumping continues for a second year, commencing at 7.00 pm on the Friday.

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

The County Antrim Competition will continue. 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.

Also this year sees the introduction of the Most Appropriately Dressed Person competition at the show, so the organisers are encouraging 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 our young people within the agricultural sector who are very much the future of the show and continue to work alongside our three local YFCs – Lisnamurrican, Glarryford and Ahoghill.

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

Robert reminded that gates on the Friday night will open at 4.00 pm with the NISSA sheep shearing championships and a fun dog show being held around 6.00 pm.

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 and 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 26 from 4.00 pm and Saturday May 27, from 9.00 am. For more information and a timetable of events, check it out online at www.ballymenashow.co.uk or Facebook. Alternatively, contact the show office by email on secretary@ballymenashow.co.uk