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Family fun extravaganza

An action packed programme for show-goers of all ages is in store for this week’s 2010 Balmoral Show, in partnership with the Ulster Bank.

In addition to this annual gathering for those from the farming community, the RUAS has booked some of the finest display teams on show in Europe .

RUAS Chief Executive Colin McDonald is delighted with the programme of events. “Every year we strive to offer our visitors something new and exciting, and this year is no exception. The 2010 programme is dynamic. We have plenty to offer the people from town and country, and are confident that the show will once again be a hive of activity.”

The Top Lodge dancing dogs will perform daily, thrilling the crowds as they did at Crufts dog show where their televised performances made them overnight celebrities.

The eight dogs and three Crufts winning handlers will perform in the main arena twice daily. Their graceful and amazing dance routines to a range of the latest pop, rock and classical tunes are sure to mesmerise all ages.

Team Extreme, the UK’s only Pro-Skateboard, BMX and Inline-Skating performers are sure to hold the kids spellbound with their athletic and fearless high jumps and turns.

World class sporting displays on skateboard and coaching sessions for children who wish to have a go themselves, are also guaranteed to attract large crowds.

Back by popular demand is the motocross display team, The Bolddog Lings. They are the UK’s top ranked freestyle motocross riders and their show is billed as ‘extreme sports action’, based around the world’s largest and most sophisticated mobile landing system.

They will attempt a 75 ft jump with a motorbike, for the first time ever in Northern Ireland. Only four riders in the UK and Ireland can perform this dangerous stunt, which is one of the most prestigious tricks in FMX and indeed on a motorbike in general.

A troupe of hilarious entertainers including themed floats, carnival characters and acrobats will inject a flash of colour to the show from The Beat Initiative, Belfast’s carnival arts company.

Their entertaining acts and resounding samba music in the main arena on Friday will certainly add a carnival atmosphere to the show.

Kid’s Zone is where families love to let off steam. This area has more fun-fair rides than ever before, and includes an egg hatchery, bungee trampoline, bouncy castle and climbing wall to name but a few!

The Children’s Farm is also a big favourite with toddlers and primary school goers, enabling them to see farmyard animals at close quarters. Pigs, goats, llamas, sheep and other breeds will make up the farm. Friday is pony ride day when children can take to the saddle on the Cattle Lawn.

Henry Hippo, representing the Ulster Bank, will be on tour throughout the show, making sure that all the children are having a good time.

This year sees the return of Titan, the eight foot Robot, who amazed on-lookers in previous years with his quick one liners and impromptu serenades.

Bob the Builder is another family favourite and makes a personal appearance at various intervals in the show on Wednesday May 12th.

Don’t miss the Rare Breeds Display which exhibits rare, endangered and unusual animals. This includes Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs and Irish Moiled cattle.

Balmoral Show also welcomes back Friends of Ferguson to display the best of vintage farmyard machinery.

Gardening experts will enjoy a more tranquil setting in The Garden Village where a variety of gardening demonstrations are planned. Experts are on hand to provide valuable advice, helping visitors make the most of their own garden, and covering a wide range of subjects including basket weaving and flower arranging.

Miniature horses not exceeding 34 inches high will also have their own show classes and there are two Junior Showmanship classes for young people to exhibit their tiny equines.

Everything from the miniature horses to the gigantic Clydesdales are well worth viewing. The Ulster Bank sponsors the Clydesdale, Agricultural horses and trade turnouts.

An interesting new event is the ridden Clydesdale class which is now popular in Australia and the UK. This is well worth checking out at this year’s show.