Belfast Telegraph

Balmoral Show: Ice cream, sunshine and great craic - the verdict so far on farming's greatest show

By Rachel Martin

Daphne Hill, a beef farmer from Malinhead, Co Donegal: "This is my first time at the show," said Daphne. "I came along with my fiancé. So far, I've been watching the stock judging and have been looking around the machinery stands. I'm from a dry stock farm so I've been watching the beef cattle here."

Brendan and Sinead Sloane with son James (9 months), a farmer and wife from Crossmaglen:

"I always make sure I get to see the cattle and the tractors," said Brendan. "I've a small holding with a few sucklers so I'm interested to see other people's stock but we like to get around as much as possible. We like to see a bit of everything."

Read More: Balmoral Show Day 1: Full results and pictures

Zita Blair from Moneymoney and Gillian McKeown, young farmers from Killinchy:

"I can't wait for all the young farmers competitions on Thursday - we've everything from machinery handling to sheep shearing and floral art," said Zita. "Our friends are taking part in the ladies' football and girls' tug of war so we'll be cheering them on. The atmosphere is always great - this time tomorrow night, the crowd will be three deep right around the cattle rings - we'll even have Young Farmers members on crowd control."

Shannon McKee (16) from Glastry and Melissa Lyttle (16), students from Newtownards:

"We're both from farming backgrounds so we're hoping to see some tractors later - some Masseys - and we are looking to see some goats," said Shannon.

"I never go to the show without stopping for an ice-cream at the Lakeland stand."

Mark Henry (21) a farmer from Stranocum and Jess Hall (23), a cattle fitter from south Wales:

"We arrived here in the morning with cattle so we've been busy working with them. We come early with our dairy cattle because it gives them an extra day to settle," said Mark. "This must be my fifth or sixth year with cattle here, we've four here this year - two milking cows and two heifers. I enjoy the showing and it's definitely a highlight for me, but it's a lot of work so we probably won't have time to see much of the rest of the show."

John Henning, a beef farmer from Moira:

"This is my 24th consecutive Balmoral exhibiting and this is one of the only times I haven't brought a calf here," said John. "The showing is always one of my favourite parts but I'm involved in a lot of different organisations, like RUAS and Agrisearch, so I've a lot of events within the show to go to. Honestly, it'll be a busy week and I'll enjoy putting my feet up at the end of it! I enjoy talking to people in the industry at the show - I've just retired but I find myself more tired than anything as I'm also going to be the chief breed steward for the jerseys on Friday."

Alan Irwin, a farmer from Dromore:

"I'm helping out a friend showing but I'll be having a look around the machinery -especially the John Deere tractors when I get a chance," Alan said.

Hannah Robinson with niece Lucia, from Donaghadee:

"For me, it's not Balmoral unless I get a whippie ice-cream from one of the vans," said Hannah. "I've had a busy day today with the sheep - I won the overall champion in the Hampshire Downs, so I'm delighted with that. So far this year, it's been great weather, great craic and great results!"

James Porter (30) with Porsche the calf, a pedigree Angus breeder from Dromore:

"We've had a great day and I'll be celebrating tonight - we got champion so we're over the moon," said James. "It's nice because it's a homebred animal so it will help us promote our herd - Old Glenort Angus - and will make things easier when we want to sell. Showing's a lot of work but it makes it all worth it when you get a day like today."

Lisa Hogg from Ballykinler and John Smyth, a farmer from Annacloy:

"This is my first time, at the show - it's much bigger than I expected. I've found it interesting and it's been nice to see the different breeds," said Lisa. John added: "I love the show, I've been coming since I was a child. I have my own Belted Galloways but I don't take them out - I just have it as a day off."

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