BALLYMONEY Show held its Annual Sponsors Reception last week.
This year’s show, to be held on June 3-4, promises a fun day out for all the family. Already a large number of exhibitors have booked and the spaces in the craft marquees and dedicated ‘food pavilion’ are filling up!
There is a very enthusiastic show committee working hard in the background, excited to bring back Ballymoney Show after the two year break. Thanks must be extended to the generosity of the farming community and businesses across the Province which enable the presentation of generous prizes to exhibitors in all classes.
Organisers are indebted to all sponsors and those who faithfully support the show year on year.
This year’s show promises entertainment for all ages. Amongst other things there’ll be the ever popular Dog & Pet Show, children’s entertainers, DJ, the County Antrim YFC Football Competition, Tug-O-War, and a varied programme of entertainment on stage over the course of the two days.
With the support of the NI Regional Food Programme there is a dedicated food pavilion equipped with the Irish Shows Association cookery unit where you can see cookery demonstrations from local chefs and stall holders and a ‘Cook Off’ competition at various times over the two days.
The show is working closely with Naturally North Coast and Glens, Causeway Speciality Markets and Taste Causeway to involve local producers and showcase the best the region has to offer – plenty for all the family to choose from to ensure enjoyable days out.
Horse & Pony Section
On the Friday afternoon there will be pony classes, including the local family pony riding classes, followed by IPS affiliated classes.
These consist of three in-hand and five ridden classes, with all entries in these classes required to be entered in advance of show days.
The North West Working Hunter Ponies and Horses section will also take place, with four classes in each section – entries for these will be taken on the field on the day. There is also the ISA Qualifier for the Ballinasloe Connemara 3 Yr Old Filly Championship on the Friday afternoon.
On Saturday, in the main arena, show classes commence with the Clydesdale & Heavy Horses which are among the highlights in the horse section, attracting a large entry.
There are classes for Shetland, Welsh, Mixed Mountain and Moorland & Connemara Ponies, also classes for the Ridden Hunters, Hunters in hand and Irish Draughts all taking place on Saturday morning.
There is a variety of qualifiers, namely the Clydesdale/heavy horse ridden class, which is a qualifier for the Blair Castle Ridden Clydesdale Championship to be held at Blair Castle International Horse Trials, also the County Londonderry Horse Breeders Society Clydesdale Young Handlers Championship and the Equestrian & Farm Feeds NISA Clydesdale Championship.
There are numerous Irish Shows Association Qualifiers for all Ireland Championships in the Hunter section, namely the Bannow & Rathangan 3 Year Old Horse All Ireland Championship (horse or filly), the Dungarvan 3 Year Old Filly Championship and the Kildysart 2 Year Old Filly Championship. In the Irish Draughts we have the Roscommon Yearling Filly, The Limerick 2 Year Old Filly and the Bonniconlon 3 Year Old Filly Championships.
Immediately after the judging of the heavy horses and hunter classes, the special heavy horse turnout classes for single and pairs with cart, farm wagon or trade vehicle will be judged. The horse prize winners’ parade will commence immediately after this.
The association would like to thank all sponsors who have faithfully supported the horse section – namely Basil Knipe Electrics, Payescape, DJM Robinson & Sons and Dirraw Farm Equestrian. In addition to these is a new sponsor this year, namely EMA Buildings & Civils Ltd, which will be sponsoring the Clydesdale section.
The livestock classes show promise to be another highlight at Ballymoney Show. Organisers are delighted that with the continued support of generous sponsors, they are able to provide a prize fund in the cattle section alone of approximately £5,000. This, alongside the warm north Antrim welcome exhibitors receive at Ballymoney Show, encourages them to return with their top quality cattle year after year.
This year the high prize level is maintained in the dairy classes with Chestnutt’s Animal Feeds continuing its support for the Holstein section and Goulding NI returning to sponsor the Coloured Dairy Breeds.
In the pedigree beef classes thanks go to existing sponsors Bank of Ireland, Yara, Chestnutts, Riada Vets, Animax, Britmilk, NI Limousin Club, McGinley Contracts and Ballymena Livestock Mart.
Inter-breed judges have to work hard for their lunch, starting with the Young Handlers classes sponsored by World Wide Sires and Yara. United Feeds sponsor the Best Group of Three Dairy animals, Global Genes sponsor the Best Pair of Dairy Heifers, Lakeland Dairies for the Best Pedigree Dairy Heifer not in milk and the Lely Centre in Eglish for the Best Dairy Exhibit. There is a new sponsor in the dairy sector this year – AHV UK & Ireland, which will be sponsoring the Best Pedigree Dairy Heifer in Milk.
Other beef inter-breed classes are sponsored by Ulster Farmers’ Union and HVS Animal Health. Significant prize money is available for the Best Group of Three Beef animals sponsored by Danske Bank, top beef exhibit sponsored by Kilrea Livestock Mart, and for both dairy and beef the most successful cattle exhibitors are sponsored by John Thompson & Sons.
As with previous years, Ballymoney is a qualifying show for many of the finals which will be held at shows later in the season or as a points system through various breed societies. This too is a great incentive for exhibitors to show stock at Ballymoney.
This year’s qualifiers in the cattle section include: The Thompsons/Northern Ireland Shows Association (NISA) Dairy Cow Championship 2022 with the final at Antrim Show; ABP/NISA Pedigree Beef Heifer Championship 2022 with the final at Clogher Valley Show; and Bank of Ireland/NISA Junior Bull Championship 2019 with the final at Antrim Show.
Sheep & Goat Sections
In 2019 Ballymoney Show had close to 700 entries in these classes. A variety of classes ensure all sheep breeds get their chance to show. Once again, organisers are indebted to faithful sponsors who provide approximately £2,000 of prize money to winners in the sheep and goat classes.
In the sheep section organisers welcome new sponsors HVS Animal Health and Manola Farm Supplies, alongside existing supporters McCarroll Plant Hire, KW Supplies, SM Motors, Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland, P&T Thompson Sheep Breeding, NI Texel Breeders Society and Hunter Kane & Son.
In the inter-breed ring there is continuing support from Steele Farm Supplies, Farmcare Products, John McElderry Ltd, and Anderson, Barr, Gillan Pinkerton.
As in the cattle section, here too Ballymoney has secured qualifiers including;
The Danske Bank/NISA Best Ewe Championship for the final at Castlewellan Show.
The Cydectin Young Sheep Handlers Competition which is kindly sponsored by Zoetis Animal Health and will qualify for the final at Clogher Valley Show.
The ISA/Clogher Valley Show Society NI Continental Sheep Final For Ewe or Ram Any Age.
To encourage young exhibitors Ballymoney has its own Young Handlers Competition available for entry. The show committee looks forward to another excellent turnout of sheep from a wide variety of breeds and classes.
In the Goat section there are both Pedigree & Non Pedigree Classes with generous prize money and silverware up for grabs.
In the Poultry Hall we have a variety of classes covering Waterfowl, Large Soft Feather & Soft Feather Bantams where sponsorship is kindly provided by Moore’s Animal Feeds. We continue to have additional classes for rare breeds and for children’s classes. We also host the qualifier for ISA/Swinford Show Society All Ireland Bantam Breeding Pair Chicken Championship.
Home Industries, Photographic and Schools Section
The Home Industries Section of the Show is always very popular with almost 100 classes in total, including Craftwork, Painting, Baking, Confectionery & Preserves. As the show is running on the Jubilee weekend this year, organisers have incorporated a number of special Jubilee classes into the Craft, Baking & Floral Art sections. They also continue to have specially designated classes for YFC members covering craft, baking floral art and photography.
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 President James Morrison, Chairman Robert Shannon and Secretary Anne McLaughlin.
Judges for this year’s show have already been confirmed, and we are glad to be welcoming visiting judges from all over the British Isles.
The Show Association gratefully acknowledges 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.
A full list of sponsors is detailed in the schedules, on website or can be obtained from the Show Secretary.
n Check out Facebook and the website for further information regarding schedules, entry forms and closing dates, and entertainments programme. www.ballymoneyshow.org
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