A host of YFC sponsors, stewards, members, supporters and locals gathered recently to see what’s new since the last show in 2019, as registration officially opened for this year’s event. The sponsor’s reception was graciously supported by Antrim & Newtownabbey Council and supported by Randalstown YFC.
During the evening, the Antrim Agricultural Society donated £1,000 to its designated charity, Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, in memory of the late Robert Wallace, former president of the society.
This year Fane Valley became the show’s first ever livestock sponsor, which also includes sponsorship of a new Dairy Interbreed Exhibitor of the Show award with a £1,000 prize.
In the beef section, this will be the first year that Antrim has hosted the National Show of the Irish Moiled Cattle Society, an indigenous breed of cattle.
The Andrew McKeown Memorial Cup is new to the Aberdeen Angus Section. Sharon McKeown, wife of the late Andrew McKeown, will be there on the day of the show to introduce him to the champion’s better opposite sex.
This year Antrim will host the NISA Pedigree Dairy Cow Championship Finals from Thompson and the NISA Pedigree Junior Bull Championship from the Bank of Ireland. These finals showcase the best dairy cattle and beef bulls in the province.
Antrim is also qualified for the ABP/NISA Pedigree Beef Heifer Championship and the Equestrian & Farm Feeds Ltd/NISA Clydesdale Championship.
Also in the equestrian section, B Sweeney Equine Ltd joined us as a new sponsor in the show jumping section, which has a total prize pool of £2,600. All entries for this year’s Ulster Regional Grand Prix must be entered and paid for via SJI Live.
In the home industries section, there will be a special prize for the “best in section” and a special prize for the award holder with the most points in the horticulture section. New classes have been introduced for Quilted Mug Bag, Rag Rug, and Decorated Hard-Boiled Egg. A new YFC horticultural section has been added and the YFC floristry section has been split into two age groups: 12-18 and 19-30. The Women’s Institute tag team competition returns, with the title ‘Tea in the Field’.
Tributes were also paid to Company boss Jimmy Crawford, who passed away recently. Jimmy had been involved with the show throughout his life and in addition to being the patron he was most recently the director responsible for horticulture and home industries.
In the sheep section, Clive Owen, famous on the TV show ‘Our Yorkshire Farm’, will judge the Swaledales section. Also, the NI Sheep Shearers Association Shearing Contest will be back. Its new specially designed grandstand has the added benefit of giving you a chance to rest while you watch the show against the clock.
Speaking at the launch of the Randox Antrim Show, Chairman George Robson said; “This year’s event was only able to return to Shanes Castle on Saturday 23rd July this year thanks to the much needed support of many sponsors, big and small, new and old, but also thanks to the hard work of our administrators, members and volunteers.
“I would like to give a special mention to Randox who have stayed with us as title sponsor; Antrim & Newtownabbey Council for enabling our launch, and Lord O’Neill for access to the beautiful castle grounds, which helps to add to the family day out we run each year for the benefit of people in rural and urban communities.
Randox Health will be at the show to advise on the services they provide. Representing the show’s lead sponsor at the launch, Jason Webster, Business Development Manager, Randox Health, commented; “We are delighted to maintain our title sponsorship with Randox Antrim Show and are fully aware of its importance to our local community, and more widely. After a two-year absence imposed by COVID, we know that this exceptional event will lift everyone’s spirits and we congratulate Mr. Robson, the organizing committee and everyone involved for their efforts. As a global company, based in Co Antrim, we understand the importance of this show.
“And after two years of COVID, we’ll all be looking forward to better times – and at the show, Randox will highlight our commitment to preventative healthcare, with the aim of living healthier, longer lives. With the opening of new Randox clinics in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, to complement those in Crumlin and Holywood, our private and comprehensive diagnostic packages are easier to access than ever We are all looking forward to a very successful Randox Antrim show on Saturday 23rd July – and enjoy life to the fullest!”
This year Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council provided invaluable funding for the show in addition to supporting the launch supply of the show. In support of the event, the Deputy Mayor of Antrim & Newtownabbey, Cllr. Leah Smyth, said; “I am delighted to be seeing the Randox Antrim Show again this year in the beautiful grounds of Shanes Castle. This year’s lineup includes new competitions, awards and events and it’s great to see traditional family favorites making a comeback. after two years away. This event attracts thousands of visitors to our borough which is great for local businesses and a wonderful opportunity to showcase all that Antrim and the borough of Newtownabbey have to offer our residents and visitors. It really is a great day out for the whole family.
William Adair, 23, from Dunadry, has been revealed as the most recent person to join the ranks of Lifetime Members, meaning he can now enjoy free entry to the show every year for life .
YFC County Games competition day will also be held in Antrim with Tug of War, Tractor Handling, Gator Challenge and Slippery Football to name a few to hint at the spectacle of the games they put on . Members of Young Farmers’ Clubs aged 18 and over can attend the event for a reduced fee of £5 upon presentation of a valid YFCU membership card at the entrance gate.
From creative crafts to calorie cakes, there will be plenty of non-farm animal activities that will have wide appeal to attract viewers from both farming and non-farming communities to stroll through country life.
You can expect the return of the Artisan Food Marquee, thanks to the support of the NI Regional Food Program; the “King & Queen of the Castle” jiving contest; a petting zoo for children; and live music, thanks to the support of the Enkalon Foundation.
Other popular activities open to all include children’s pet show, children’s scavenger hunt and various displays of floral art, photography, jams, eggs, baking, fruit , vegetables, crafts, horticulture and baking, as well as arts and crafts projects from elementary schools and young farmers’ clubs. There will also be plenty of shopping stalls and stalls to browse and a range of family attractions and side shows to entertain children of all ages.
A copy of the show schedule is available from the show secretary or can be downloaded from www.randoxantimshow.com.
The action takes place on Saturday July 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the Randox Antrim Show is £12.50 per adult, £5 per youth (12-17) and for YFC members aged 18 and over (upon presentation of a valid YFCU membership card), and children under 12 are FREE and must be accompanied by a paying adult. Parking is also FREE.
To enter competitions, book a stand, keep up to date with Randox Antrim Show news or contact show secretary, Patricia Pedlow, visit the show website www.RandoxAntrimShow.com.