Balmoral Show 2010: Pictures, results and video
The crowds packed the thoroughfares at the Balmoral Show yesterday as it looked like the organisers' predictions of attracting over 70,000 visitors in three days would be fulfilled.
Award-winning cattle, sheep, horses and pigs proved the usual sure-fire draw, while youngsters goggled in amazement as the mountain bikers and skateboarders of Team Extreme carried out death defying feats.
Constant streams of uniformed schoolchildren poured in and out of the farming exhibits, carrying goodie bags with windmills poking out of them.
In the King's Hall itself, acrobats and dancers regaled the crowds at the GOSH Style Stage, while farmers queued up for a free health check at the Gordon's Chemist stand.
There was everything imaginable on sale, from clocks made from Bushmills bottles, to children's farm overalls. A visit by Prince Charles caused quite a stir, but the younger generation were more taken with Titan the Robot as he took a few moments out of his song and dance routine to buy a burger, before swinging round to promise in the style of Arnie: “I'll be back.”
Balmoral style took in everything from full overalls and wellies to floaty summer skirts and quite a few Eoghan Quigg hairdos.
The changeable weather this week could pose something of a challenge for style-setters intent on winning the Best Dressed competition.
The RSPB presented its Nature of Farming award to Glenarm farmers John and Jim Davison for boosting wildlife on their farm.
And M&S presented awards to two of its suppliers for animal welfare, environment and ethical issues at its Plan A awards.
Walter Johnston of Johnston Bros in Magherafelt received the M&S Future of Farming Award for commercial acumen, technical knowledge and leadership.
And Michael Hoey of Country Crest in Lusk, County Dublin, scooped the Plan A in Action Award for services to biodiversity, sustainable energy and his on-site bird sanctuary.
Today, the Balmoral Show will welcome a host of well-known faces.
These include President of Ireland Mary McAleese, who will be Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew's guest at the DARD breakfast.