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Showstopper!

Thursday, 7 June 2018

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FORECASTS for thunder storms and heavy downpours failed to dampened spirits at this year's Ballymoney Show.
Families and exhibitors flocked to the 111th show, soaking up the unique atmosphere and the usual attractions including stock judging, a two-day entertainment extravaganza, as well as trade and home industries stands.
The sights, tastes and sounds provided the perfect backdrop for the ever popular annual event which featured a 'food village' and a full to bursting craft marquee.
The cream of Ulster's livestock was   on show with horses, ponies, pedigree cattle, sheep, goats and poultry. There was also a great display in home baking.
The event culminated on Saturday with the selection of Priestland 5446 Shot J Rose as the cattle inter-breed champion.
The four-year-old cow, which was also the Holstein reserve champion at this year's Balmoral Show, is owned by the McLean family from Bushmills.
The beef inter-breed champion, 19-month-old shorthorn heifer Castlemount Matrix Zipy,  was exhibited by Duncan McDowell from Newtownards. Meanwhile the McAllister family from Kells were the most successful sheep breeder.
This year's show offered activities for all ages with a pet show, dog agility courses and the usual sideshows and fairground amusements.
The North District Semi Final of the ISA All Ireland Junior Home Cook Championship was held over the course of the two days.
Secondary schools had the chance to showcase their skills with classes for art, technology and baking.
There was a fancy dress contest and a NI football competition, organised by County Antrim YFC with Lisnamurrican, Ahoghill and Gleno sharing the honours .
A YFC tug-o'-war competition on Friday night was won by Straid with Lisnamurrican pulling their way into second place.
The event -  one of the oldest and largest agricultural shows in Ireland - is organised by a very enthusiast show committee, made up of members from the three local Young Farmers' Clubs; Finvoy, Kilraughts and Moycraig.
They had the huge task of preparing the grounds, stewarding the classes and running the exciting entertainment programme.
Judging got under way on Saturday morning with judges from all over the British Isles and Ireland passing their expert eye over exhibits.
There was a bonnie baby competition, a performance from the Claire McDowell School of Irish Dancers and the show ended on a high note with the grand prizewinners' parade on Saturday afternoon.
Show Committee Chairman David Dunlop, of Finvoy YFC described this year's show as "one of the best."
He told The Chronicle: "The weather made it; we were so lucky. The rain seemed to be falling everywhere else.
“Sheep and poultry entries were significantly up this year and slightly higher in the cattle section. The show was well supported by the local business community which is crucial to its success.
The Home Cook competition created a real buzz in the food pavilion.
“The show's success was also down to a lot of hard work from the three Young Farmers' Clubs and support from the local community.
“In my opinion Ballymoney is one of the best local shows in Northern Ireland; its thanks to the three Young Farmers' Clubs and the whole board and show committee. Team work is paramount, as well as the coveyor belt of youth involved; that's the recipe for success."
* For the main cup winners see pages 30-33. More show results will be published in next week's paper.

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