All systems go for Ballymoney Show

By Carol McMullan

BALLYMONEY Show held its annual sponsors reception at Lissanoure Castle, Loughguile. Guest speaker for the evening was local historian and author Mr Alex Blair. Alex entertained the crowd with a brief history down through the years of Ballymoney Show and some interesting anecdotes of what previous organising committees had done to raise funds for the annual show.

He also spoke of some of his personal experiences, having held the post of Public Relations Officer of Ballymoney Show for over 20 years – he certainly has seen a few funny things in his time, as the assembled crowd chuckled along to some of his stories!

The Show Committee would like to thank Alex Blair for his kind words of encouragement to the organising committee made up predominately of the members of the 3 local YFC Clubs, Finvoy, Kilraughts & Moycraig.

This year’s show to be held on 31st May and 1st June promises a fun day out for all the family.

Already we have a large number of exhibitors booked and the space in our craft and country markets marquee is filling up! 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.

Show Attractions

Friday evening the 31st May 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 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 Section

The Association is pleased to advise the continuation of a number of ISA Qualifiers in the Horse and Pony Section and a special Heavy Horse turnout class for pairs with farm wagon or commercial vehicle, which is sponsored by Co Londonderry Horse Breeding Society.

Ballymoney Borough Council continue to be the primary sponsor of Champion and Reserve in all catalogued classes, with an Interbreed Horse & Pony Championship sponsored by Harrigan Fuels.

On the Friday evening we continue 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. Please note ALL Saturday classes should be pre-entered by the closing date.

Cattle Section

The Association is pleased to welcome judges from all over the British Isles to cast their expert eye over the cream of the crop being exhibited at this years Ballymoney Show. With around 90 classes of British and Continental breeds to choose from the exhibitors have plenty of choice and work ahead of them to continue the high standards we see year after year. Also as one of the selected Qualifying Shows for many prestigious Awards there are lots of reasons to exhibit at Ballymoney Show.

Sheep Section

Once again we have a vast range of sheep classes with 17 different breeds available for entry, and this year an additional class for ‘any other breed of sheep’. With the consistently high number of sheep exhibitors, the prize money in this sector is hotly competed after.

Goat Section

The year sees 12 classes available for entry in the Goat Section, both in Pedigree & Non Pedigree Classes with some silverware up for grabs.

Poultry Section

After the very successful introduction of Poultry Classes to Ballymoney Show, we continue to have a vast choice of classes for entry with exhibitors having almost 75 classes to choose from, with financial support of principal sponsor Moores Animal Feeds.

Home Industries, Photographic and Schools Section

As in previous years we have numerous classes in a variety of areas to capture the talents of our local ladies (and gents), and In the Schools section we have an ever increasing number of entries from the local kids, which not only acts as a great showcase to show off their work, but entitles each exhibiting child free entry into the show. We are grateful for the continued financial support of both TESCO, and Causeway Dental Practice as key sponsors in these sections.

North Antrim Agricultural Association is made up of a Board of Directors and a very enthusiastic 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 the two days. They are led by their Chairman; Gary Thompson, Secretary; Zara Morrison, Treasurer; Trevor Gilmour and Press Officer; Carol McMullan.

Judges for this years show have already been confirmed, and we will be glad to be welcoming visiting judges from all over the British Isles and Ireland.

The Show Association gratefully acknowledge 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.