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Five top Balmoral Show attractions to entertain the family

By Linda Stewart

From an edible garden to the Children's Farm

1 Lely has teamed up with Drayne's farm to host a live robotic milking exhibition. Forty cows will travel from the Lisburn farm to a purpose-built dairy unit at Balmoral Park where they will be milked at their leisure. Visitors will also be able to enjoy ice cream made from the milk at the Lely stand. Farmers who use the innovative system will be sharing their experiences at 11am, 2pm and 4pm each day.

2 An edible garden has been added to the Garden Village at the Balmoral Show, featuring a polytunnel filled with edible produce. Visitors can see the food on their plate as it grows in the ground, bridging the gap between farm and fork.

3 Top and upcoming young riders from across the globe will compete head to head in the International Show Jumping. Showjumpers from Egypt, Canada, Thailand, Great Britain and Ireland will provide three days of nailbiting competition. The Barclay Communications and Bottle Green International Grand Prix is the finale of the show jumping week, taking place at 4.15pm on Friday. Ireland's Alexander Butler will be back to add his 2013 and 2014 titles, battling it out with the likes of Geoff Billington, Dermott Lennon, Greg Broderick and Daniel Coyle.

4 One of the most popular attractions is the Children's Farm, supported by Tesco, with a feast of cuddly baby farm animals. Children will get to stroke and feed animals provided by Ark Open Farm in Newtownards and the braver ones have the opportunity for a close encounter with a snake or a tarantula supplied by Mantella.

5 The Spar Arena will offer a wealth of family fun with a line-up of fun attractions including exciting displays from the NI School of Falconry, Tim Crothers demonstrating gun dog skills and kids' favourite Bruce Airhead. Circus workshops will also wow the crowds and delight the youngsters.

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