Plans are very much underway for this year’s Ballymena Show being held on Friday and Saturday, May 26 and 27.
Speaking at its launch, Chairperson Robert Dick thanked all the sponsors and the many volunteers who ensure the continued success of the Show for which Bank of Ireland UK continue as the Premium Sponsor.
Responding, 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.”
With the livestock sections of the Show it remains very much business as usual this year which will see Cattle Section will host the Beef Shorthorn National Show. Also, returning for a second year, will be the NI Simmental Society’s Heifer Championship which has additional prize money on offer.
The Sheep section will continue with the two new breeds introduced last year, the Suffolk Cheviot and Blue Texel but also, the Suffolk Sheep Society Northern Ireland Branch Championship which will be hosted for the first time at Ballymena.
Within the Horse section, the Working Hunter Pony classes will continue within it’s Friday night slot commencing at 5pm and additionally this year sees the introduction of a number of Draught classes. Within the Show Jumping the non-registered jumping continues for a second year, commencing at 7pm on the Friday.
Home Industries section continues to grow and welcomes entries from local schools, WI and nursing homes alongside all other competitors. The County Antrim Competition will be 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.
Other highlights of the Show, which is supported by Mid & East Antrim Council’s Major Grants Programme, include the introduction of ‘the most appropriately dressed person competition’ which will be judged on the Saturday and the YFC County Competitions on the Friday evening with the Inter Club Tug of War and It’s a Knockout competitions on the Saturday afternoon with prize money being allocated to the winning clubs.
Gates will open on the Friday night at 4pm with the NISSA sheep shearing championships and a fun dog show being held around 6pm.
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.