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Rain fails to spoil day at annual Ballymena Show

Ballymena Show Queen Rebecca Speers
Ballymena Show Queen Rebecca Speers
Sammy Clyde’s show champion; Arianna
Champion young handler Aaron Woodside
Trevor and Clara Bell

By Richard Halleron

Heavy rain drenched the large crowds attending this year's Ballymena Show, the first at its new home at the town's livestock market.

"It looks like we are here to stay," confirmed show committee member Randal Hayes.

"The development of a new road was a key reason for us leaving our former home at Ballymena Showgrounds.

"The crowds at this year's event have been tremendous. We want to build on this for the future."

Wherever it is based, Ballymena Show continues to go from strength to strength.

Approximately 1,000 sheep were entered for this year's event, with over 200 beef and dairy cattle also participating. These are both record entry figures for th event.

The sheep section was marked by first-time classes for the Dutch Spotted breed.

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But it was a traditional breed that held sway in the show rings this year. The supreme inter-breed championship was awarded to Ballymoney Suffolk breeder Jason Watson with a hogget ewe.

Meanwhile, in the cattle rings the supreme championship of the show came down to a head to head between the inter-breed beef and dairy champions.

This year's dairy champion was the Holstein third calver Robinwood Atwood Vicky. The cow is owned by the Henry family from Ballymoney. She calved in February of this year and is currently giving 55L of milk per day.

Inter-breed dairy judge John Gilmore described his champion as an excellent example of the Holstein breed.

In the final class of the day Victory was up against the beef inter-breed champion, the choice Limousin heifer Clydevalley Osaka owned by the Clyde family from Templepatrick.

Beef inter-breed judge Gareth Behan described the 11-month-old heifer as a breeding animal with tremendous potential.

But it was to be the Holstein cow's day.

Both inter-breed judges agreed that Vicky just had the edge on the younger Limousin heifer.

Belfast Telegraph