Belfast Telegraph

Bullish farmers defy deluge: Agricultural shows a hit in spite of rain

By Julie Hazelton and Richard Halleron

The rain hammered and the heavens opened – but that didn't stop a healthy turnout at two of our best agriculture shows.

The Lurgan and Ballymoney Shows both went ahead on Saturday despite the torrential downpours affecting many parts.

In Co Armagh, Lurgan Park was a hive of activity from early on Saturday morning as competitors prepared to showcase their entries at the town's 102nd agricultural show.

Michele Doran, secretary of Lurgan and District Horse and Cattle Society Ltd, reported an increased entry in the number of trade stands at the annual event.

"We've also seen an increased entry in the goat section, while livestock, poultry and equine entries are on a par with last year," said Michele.

"We attracted record numbers of spectators in recent years, but unfortunately the weather has impacted on today's turnout. The crowd was disappointing in the morning, but we were delighted to see visitor numbers increase as the rain cleared in the afternoon."

Meanwhile, the Ballymoney Show was under way in north Antrim, organised by members of the Young Farmers' Clubs of Ulster (YFCU).

The organisation's president Martyn Blair was in attendance and he confirmed that the event continues to grow from strength to strength.

"Members of the Kilraughts, Finvoy and Moycraig clubs join forces every year to make the show happen. In so doing, they work closely with the North Antrim Agricultural Association, which represents all of the main farming and food organisations in the Ballymoney area," he explained.

"But, by common consent, the success of the event is an excellent example of just how proactive and positive young people can be when given the opportunity. In fact, the blueprint for Ballymoney is one which could be followed by others."

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