By Julie Hazelton
THE country came to town for North Antrim Agricultural Association’s 104th annual show in Ballymoney.
“We’ve had a fantastic show with an increased number of equestrian entries, and more trade stands than ever before,” said Clarence Calderwood, chairman of the association’s board of directors.
“Visitor numbers are well up and it’s mainly due to the drier, warmer weather over the last few days.
“There is a great atmosphere and we have attractions to suit everyone, including a fun fair, pet show, bonnie baby competition, and a parade of vintage tractors.
“We even managed to attract a greater number of townsfolk to this year’s Ballymoney Show.”
On the afternoon prior to main show day, the organisers welcomed numerous young farmers’ club members, as well as competitors taking part in pony club games, working hunter and family pony classes.
Almost 30 teams took part in the NI Football Competition, hosted by the County Antrim Committee of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster.
The winning under 18 boys team was Finvoy YFC, with Randalstown YFC taking the runners-up spot. In the over 18 section it was Kilrea YFC who were awarded the spoils, with Moycraig YFC taking second prize. Straid YFC led the girls’ section, with Glarryford YFC in reserve.
A team made up of members from Holestone and Milebush YFCs won the show’s hotly-contested tug-of-war competition, with Moycraig YFC taking second prize.
The increased horse section at the show was hailed a huge success, mainly due to the fact that competitors could simply turn up and enter on the day.
Show organisers worked tirelessly in conjunction with the Route Hunt Pony Club and the North West Working Hunter Club to introduce new classes to the schedule.
The champion horse in show was Drumlane Suzie, a ridden hunter pony owned by Judith Hamilton from Broughshane; while an in-hand hunter, Redwood Clover, collected the reserve championship award for David and Charlotte Kirkpatrick, Comber.
Also new to Ballymoney Show was a Northern Bank-sponsored trade stand competition. The winners in the three categories include the Donnelly Group who have car franchises across the province; Millwood Crafts from Co Tyrone who manufacture hand-made wooden farm sets; and Ballymoney High School.
Among the showgoers were Colin McDonald, chief executive of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society; DUP assembly member Mervyn Storey; Paul Frew, chairman of the Stormont agriculture committee; and Ballymoney Borough Council’s mayor, Ian Stevenson.
In the livestock section the organisers reported that entries were on a par with other years.
Leading the cattle line-up at the 104th annual show was the interbreed dairy winner, a Holstein heifer from Cyril and Martin Millar’s 250-cow herd based at Coleraine, Co Londonderry.
Sired by Braedale Goldwyn, she was purchased at Holstein NI’s January show and sale at Moira.
“This heifer has done extremely well for us, improving with maturity. Although mid-way through her first lactation she is still giving 46 litres daily,” said Cyril, who established the Millars’ pedigee Holstein herd three years ago.
Taking the reserve overall champion of champions award in the cattle section was the Limousin leader and interbreed beef champion, Keadyview Francis, brought out by Barney and Stephen O’Kane, Garvagh. This junior bull was sired by Sympa.
In the sheep section the supreme champion spoils went to the Suffolk champion, a shearling ram shown by Ian McDonald.
Standing in reserve was the Texel leader, a shearling ewe from Richard Henderson’s flock in Tobermore. Elizabeth McAllister, Kells, scooped the second reserve honours with her Beltex shearling ewe champion.
Results from the 104th annual Ballymoney Show include:
Centenary Silver Salver, for the supreme champion in the cattle section: Martin and Cyril Millar, Coleraine (Holstein): Reserve: Keadyview Pedigree Livestock, Coleraine (Limousin).
Finvoy Recording Association, for the best dairy cow in show: Martin and Cyril Millar (Holstein). Reserve: Ian McLean (Holstein). Second Reserve: Irwin Bros (Ayrshire).
Group of three dairy cattle – 1, Iain McLean, Bushmills (Holstein); 2, Martin and Cyril Millar, Coleraine (Holstein); 3, Irwin Bros, Portstewart (Ayrshire).
Pair of dairy heifers – 1, Martin and Cyril Millar (Holstein); 2, Ian McLean (Holstein).
Dairy heifer, born on or after 01/01/09 – 1, Tommy Henry and Sons, Stranocum (Holstein); 2, Martin and Cyril Millar (Holstein).
Maiden dairy heifer – 1, Ian McLean (Holstein); 2, Irwin Bros (Ayrshire); 3, Tommy Henry and Sons.
Dairy young handler, 12 to 16 years of age – 1, Mark Henry, Stranocum; 2, Lauren Henry, Stranocum; 3, Craig Henry, Stranocum.
Qualifier for the McLarnons Feeds/NISA Dairy Cow Championship: Martin and Cyril Millar, Coleraine (Holstein) and Iain McLean, Bushmills (Holstein).
Ballymoney Borough Council Cup, for the champion beef animal in show: Keadyview Pedigree Livestock, Coleraine (Limousin). Reserve: Gilbert Crawford, Maghera (Charolais). Second Reserve: Shane and Paul McDonald, Tempo (Simmental).
Group of three beef cattle – 1, Gilbert Crawford, Maghera (Charolais); 2, John and Ann Henning, Moira (Aberdeen Angus); 3, Andrew Craig, Coleraine (British Blue).
Beef heifer, born on or after 01/01/10 – 1, Shane and Paul McDonald, Tempo (Simmental); 2, Gilbert Crawford (Charolais); 3, Henry Dorman, Dungannon (British Blonde).
Beef Bull, born on or after 01/01/10 – 1, Keadyview Livestock, Coleraine (Limousin); 2, Gilbert Crawford (Charolais); 3, W D Hazelton, Dungannon (Simmental).
Robert W Hanna Memorial Perpetual Trophy for the champion sheep in show: Ian McDonald (Suffolk). Reserve: Richard Henderson (Texel). Second Reserve: Elizabeth McAllister (Beltex).
Champion ram lamb – 1, Dennis Taylor (Suffolk); 2, Victor and David Chestnutt (Texel); 3, Elizabeth McAllister (Beltex).
Champion ewe lamb – 1, Rodney Blair (Suffolk); 2, Elizabeth McAllister (Beltex); 3, William McAllister (Charolais).
Sheep young handler - 1, Shane Wilson; 2, Samantha Smyth; 3, Niall McCormick.
For a full list of results, see Saturday’s Farming Life.