Belfast Telegraph

Balmoral Show 2018 Day One: Videos and pictures for Northern Ireland's showpiece farming event

Spruced up for a birthday to remember as Balmoral Show marks its 150th year

By Linda Stewart

Pedigree pigs and poultry, toy tractors and traybakes - the Balmoral Show is celebrating a very special birthday as it kicks off this morning.

Thousands of visitors will descend on Balmoral Park near Lisburn today as the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society celebrates the 150th anniversary of the prestigious agricultural show - the biggest in Ireland.

Breeders were busy blowdrying cows and primping up poultry yesterday as they prepared for the arrival of the judges.

Coote Geelan (63), from Leitrim, was hoping for success as he prepared his Herefords, Baltimore Ann and Baltimore Tora, for the show.

"In 2008, Tora's mother was junior reserve champion," he said.

"We started showing cattle after the foot-and-mouth outbreak. We wouldn't want to miss the show."

Meanwhile, Barney O'Kane (67) of Keadyview Cattle in Garvagh was carefully blowdrying his pedigree Limousin cow.

"It's a good week. I've been showing here for the last 30 years," he said.

"The facilities are class. You walk out the gate and you are in the field - everything is all at your hand. You couldn't ask for any better."

Diggers, cherry pickers and ice-cream vans were undergoing a final polish in preparation for the onrush of the crowds, while a small crew was scrubbing down the big wheel in the fairground.

Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Four year old Anna McFeeters from Carryduff pictured at the show with a Kid goat.
Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Four year old Anna McFeeters from Carryduff pictured at the show with a Kid goat. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th May 2018-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Riverside Special School pupils Dexter project during the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Horse Jumping at the Balmoral Show on Wednesday. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Horse Jumping at the Balmoral Show on Wednesday. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
HRH Princess Anne visits the Balmoral show today (Wednesday). While at the show she viewed an exhibition of the 150 years of the Balmoral show. she also presented an award to Show Judge Terence McKeag for his 50 years service at the show. Photo by Aaron McCracken

RUAS/No Repro Fee
HRH Princess Anne visits the Balmoral show today (Wednesday). While at the show she viewed an exhibition of the 150 years of the Balmoral show. she also presented an award to Show Judge Terence McKeag for his 50 years service at the show. Photo by Aaron McCracken

RUAS/No Repro Fee
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th May 2018-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Stunt Moto cross riders put off freestyle tricks during the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Big Air Motocross Freestyle Jumps at the Balmoral Show. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Singer Derek Ryan pictured at the Balmoral Show on Wednesday. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th May 2018-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Riverside Special School pupils Stephen Millar and Matthew Bloomer Dexter project during the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. A robotic robot entertains the crowds at the Balmoral Show. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Maurice Murphy and Azaria the goat. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Maurice Murphy and Azaria the goat. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Sarah 12,Rachael 10 and Richard 6 pictured with there sheep. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Jacqueline Baxter from Newtownstwert pictured with Reserve and Special Champion Heifer Beauty Hill Ferrari. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast: 16/5/2018: The Balmoral Show has begun with the first of four days of events to showcase food and farming in Northern Ireland. As well as a range of livestock classes, the event hosts hundreds of trade stands displaying everything from crafts to machinery. Michaela Rodgers from Carnlough. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.
REPRO FREE McAuley Multimedia 16/05/18 Marcia McNally, TechXpert at Ulster Bank meets Zeldan the Giant French Lop during day one of the 2018 Balmoral Show in partnership with Ulster Bank. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Wolf and Woodsman's David Knowles, Andy Laverty and Jonny Laverty with Lynsey Cunningham Regional Director, Entrepreneurship at Ulster Bank. Wolf and Woodsman was one of the companies provided with free space by Ulster Bank to exhibit in its marquee. The companies include Ulster Bank customers and entrepreneurs from the bank's Entrepreneur Accelerator. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Jenny Gregg and Lila Gregg from Craft Equestrian with Lynsey Cunningham Regional Director, Entrepreneurship at Ulster Bank. Craft Equestrian was one of the companies provided with free space by Ulster Bank to exhibit in its marquee. The companies include Ulster Bank customers and entrepreneurs from the bank's Entrepreneur Accelerator. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Jake McClurg (10) from Ballynahinch, who is showing sheep, pictured as the gates open for the 150th Balmoral show (Jonathan Porter/PressEye)
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th May 2018-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Allen McIntosh of Ulster Wool shows a fleece to school children at the Sheep Shearing competition on the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
HRH Princess Anne visits the Balmoral Show today. Photo by Aaron McCracken RUAS/No Repro Fee
HRH Princess Anne visits the Balmoral Show today accompanied by RUAS president Cyril Millar and Chief Executive Alan Crowe (L). Photo by Aaron McCracken RUAS/No Repro Fee
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Horse show jumping in the parade ring. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Horse show jumping in the parade ring. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Ulster Bank's Henry the Hippo pictured with Erin Gould(2) from ballygowan. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Ulster Bank has the NatWest Six Nations trophy at its stand over the four days of this yearÕs Balmoral Show. Visitors to the show today had the chance to have their photo taken with the trophy which Ireland claimed this year as part of their Grand Slam success. Pictured with the trophy are Trevor Hanna and Peter Armstrong from Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Ulster Bank has the NatWest Six Nations trophy at its stand over the four days of this yearÕs Balmoral Show. Visitors to the show today had the chance to have their photo taken with the trophy which Ireland claimed this year as part of their Grand Slam success. Pictured with the trophy are Miceal Doyle from Ballyward and his children Eoin(8), Clara(6) and Rose(3). Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Ulster Bank has the NatWest Six Nations trophy at its stand over the four days of this yearÕs Balmoral Show. Visitors to the show today had the chance to have their photo taken with the trophy which Ireland claimed this year as part of their Grand Slam success. Pictured with the trophy is Ulster Bank Henry The Hippo Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Katherine Smart , aged 5 ,from Loughgall during the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park (Brian Little/PressEye)
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th May 2018-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Conor Savage from Castlewellen preparing his Blondie cattle during the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th May 2018-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Horse jumping competition starts on the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th May 2018-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Max Jess aged 3 from Kilkeel looking at the tractors during the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Cattle showing in the parade ring. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Cattle showing in the parade ring. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Who jumping in the parade ring. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2018 First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park. Cattle showing in the parade ring. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th May 2018-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Matthew Preston, aged 12, from Antrim showing his Dexter Cattle during the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th May 2018-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Emma Allen from Loughgall showing her Limousin Bull during the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th May 2018-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Martine McCann (left) and Alica McAuley with her Limousin Cattle during the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th May 2018-Picture by Brian Little/ PressEye Hayden Tumelty from Dowpatrick with his Dexter cattle during the First day of the 2018 Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, at Balmoral Park Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Rhonda Geary
15th May 2017 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com Final preparations are under way for the 150th Balmoral Show.
15th May 2017 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com Final preparations are under way for the 150th Balmoral Show. Andrea McKee from Killinchy along with her horse
15th May 2017 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com Final preparations are under way for the 150th Balmoral Show. Emily Magowan from Killinchy and her horse Patrick.
15th May 2017 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com Final preparations are under way for the 150th Balmoral Show.
15th May 2017 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com Final preparations are under way for the 150th Balmoral Show. Emily Magowan from Killinchy and her horse Patrick.
15th May 2017 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com Final preparations are under way for the 150th Balmoral Show.

To coincide with the fourth and final day of the show this Saturday, the organisers have promised a live screening of the royal wedding in a special covered area of the showgrounds at Balmoral Park.

Rhonda Geary, RUAS Operations Director said: 'We at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society are very excited about the royal wedding and we're delighted to be able to celebrate it in such a special way at our show this year.

"As a Royal Show, it's fitting that we celebrate this special occasion and so we have put plans in place so visitors can enjoy the final day of our 150th Show and also enjoy watching the royal wedding live."

The show will once again run over four days, following the success of 2017. This year, it is also set to extend in size, as a new, permanent covered exhibition space complementing the existing Eikon Exhibition Centre will offer 4,000 sqm of additional exhibition space. The Dr EF Logan Hall will house the cattle throughout the 2018 event, replacing the former cattle marquee.

RUAS chief executive Alan Crowe said last year's visitor numbers reached an all-time high. "This is a very special year as we celebrate this landmark anniversary and hope that visitors will enjoy commemorating with us," he said. "Although there have been significant changes in the past 150 years, the essence of Balmoral Show has very much remained the same.

"Whether your interest is farming, local food, shopping or family fun, the show continues to deliver a unique day out and that's what continues to bring visitors back year on year and has allowed the event to reach this milestone."

Coote Geelan washing his Hereford heifer
Coote Geelan washing his Hereford heifer

Avid show-goers will be able to soak up a bit of nostalgia as they visit the special anniversary marquee which allows visitors to journey through the last 150 shows. The exhibition will include archive photography, a timeline, artefacts and souvenirs detailing the history of the show.

Along with numerous livestock classes, the show offers more than 650 trade stands, while the NI Food Pavilion will showcase the very best of local food and drink.

Show-goers can download the Balmoral Show 2018 app, for all the latest information and up-to-date announcements on the show as well as a site map and offline stand locater, day planner and the handy 'Find my Car' function.

One primary school pupil from Tyrone has fended off competition from hundreds of fellow pupils across Northern Ireland to take on the role of the first official Ulster Bank Balmoral Show Correspondent. Eleven-year-old Hayden Conaty (right), from McClintock Primary School in Seskinore, is the overall winner of the first-of-its-kind competition run by Ulster Bank, principal sponsor of the Balmoral Show, and the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS).

The organisers are urging visitors to plan their journey in order to arrive in good time and relax.

Visitors are encouraged to avoid peak travel time and make their journey to the show after the opening time of 9.30am. Shuttle bus passengers are also encouraged to pre-book their show ticket and senior smartpass customers can take advantage of their free travel on scheduled services to get to the event.

Special coach day return tours are available and Translink is providing a free Translink shuttle bus service running between Lisburn train station and the showgrounds.

For more information, visitbalmoralshow.co.uk and translink.co.uk/balmoralshow2018

Belfast Telegraph

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