IF you are looking for a day filled with all things country, there will be a fantastic display of award-winning horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and goats to enjoy at this year’s Randox Antrim Show on Saturday, July 28, at the picturesque Shane’s Castle.
Sponsors, stewards, members, supporters and local YFC members recently gathered to find out what’s new as entries were opened for this year’s event.
During the evening, the Antrim Agricultural Society donated £1,000 to the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association of Northern Ireland, in memory of the late George Robson Senior, past Patron of the Society.
In memory of their father, George and Suzanne Robson presented the George Robson Memorial Cup to the society. The cup will be presented to the show’s Champion Dorset.
James Crawford also presented a trophy this year – a shield for Gardener of the Year.
The sponsor’s reception was kindly supported by the council and catered for by Kells & Connor and Lylehill YFCs.
Naomi McCullen from Straid YFC was revealed as being the lucky recipient of the inaugural Randox Antrim Show YFC bursary. Her role will see her travel to several shows across the country to compile a presentation of ideas to develop the show, helping ensure it continues to grow and appeal to both the rural and urban audience.
Working Hunter classes for ponies and horses make a welcome new addition to Antrim’s show schedule this year. Antrim is also a qualifier for the Bluegrass/NISA Clydesdale Championship 2018. This is in addition to normal classes and the show-jumping section with a total prize fund of £2,250.
In the sheep section, Antrim will be hosting the Border Leicester’s National Show, and classes for the new breed, Suffolk Cheviot, have been added. Dutch Texel will also be exhibited for the first time in Northern Ireland under the ‘Any other breed’ classes.
In the cattle section, Antrim will host the final of the Bank of Ireland/NISA Pedigree Junior Bull Championship and be a qualifier for the Linden Foods/NISA Pedigree Beef Heifer Championships.
For the fifth year, Antrim will host the NI Limousin Championships which will also incorporate the Young Limousin Breeders Anglo Irish Stock Judging Competition.
Home Industries has a new class this year – the Women’s Institute Team Competition – and is a qualifier for the final of the County Antrim Shows Chocolate Cake of the Year competition.
The exhilarating, crowd pleasing NI Sheep Shearers Association’s shearing competition once again returns. Its grandstand has the added bonus of giving you a chance for a rest while you watch the against-the-clock spectacle.
From creative crafts to calorific cakes, there will be lots of non-farm animal activities that will have wide appeal to attract spectators from both farming and non-farming communities.
New for 2018 is a Youth Busking Competition where 12-17 year olds who reside in the council area can busk during the afternoon with the chance of winning £250 for themselves and £100 for their school or youth group. Email the Show Secretary before July 20 for details on how to register.
Northern Ireland’s very own celebrity chef Paula McIntyre returns with cookery demonstrations in the Festival of Food marquee as does last year’s successful introduction of dog agility displays, a petting zoo for kids and the ‘King & Queen of the Castle’ jiving competition.
The YFC County Games Competitions Day will also be held at Antrim with Tug-of-war, Tractor Handling, Gator Challenge and Slippery Football just to mention a few of the games.
Other popular spectacles on the day include the Children’s Pet Show and the varied displays of floral art, photography, jams, wine, eggs, baking, fruit, vegetables, handicraft, horticulture, baking, and arts and crafts projects from primary schools and Young Farmers’ Clubs.
There will also a range of side shows and attractions to keep kids of all ages amused, and many trade stands and stalls to browse.
A copy of the show schedule is available from the Show Secretary or can be downloaded from www.randoxantimshow.com
The action takes place on Saturday, July 28, from 9am to 5pm. Admission to Randox Antrim Show is £10 per person and children under 16 years of age go free when accompanied by a paying adult. Car parking is also free.