Armagh County Agricultural Show and Country Festival will be held on Saturday 11th June 2016 in the beautiful surroundings of Gosford Forest Park, close to the village of Markethill.
The show has enjoyed a growing level of success and now over 20,000 people regularly attend. It is one the largest annual public events in the Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council area and is now recognized as one of the leading one-day Agricultural Shows in the country.
In 2016, we welcome Fane Valley as our principal sponsor for a second year, with other premier sponsors including: Armagh City Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Pinkertons, Linwoods, First Trust Bank, Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland and Danske Bank.
We are also pleased to welcome two new local sponsors, namely Mason’s Animal Feeds who will be sponsoring a new Dairy Calf Class – “Star of the Future” and Philip White Tyres who will be sponsoring the Novice Working Hunter Horse Class and presenting a cup to the winner.
In this the NI Year of Food and Drink special preparations have been made in the Food Marquee where there will be lots of local artisan food stalls and a cooking competition involving Secondary Schools which will be held throughout the day hosted by the popular Chef Adrian.
Other new attractions to our show this year include: A live Radio Ulster broadcast of “Your Place and Mine” with Anne Marie McAleese from 8am and the Young Farmers Clubs will be organizing a hotly contested sheep shearing competition with Ritchie Remo in attendance to entertain the crowds. Also, the Mothers Union have volunteered their services as part of their charity outreach programme facilitating our new ‘mums’ marquee for feeding and changing babies.
Other regular activities in the programme include the ever popular dog show and vintage vehicle display as well as the Best Dressed Female and Gent competition, sponsored by Lila’s and JR McMahon, this will be run in conjunction with a Fashion Show styled by both stores. Trade stands from all over the country will grace the park with special attractions such as Phil’s Farm, birds of prey display, funfair and live music … and an appearance of a real life-size Jurassic Park dinosaur throughout the day to shake your hand!
The core of the Show Programme will remain the livestock, equestrian, home industries and poultry sections as well as the NI Hound Show which attracts hunting enthusiasts from all over Ireland each year.
The full range of livestock classes will be held at this year’s Show including, the NI Irish Beltex Sheep Breeders’ Club National Show 2016, The Ulster Dorset Sheep Championships and the inclusion of new classes in both dairy, beef and sheep sections. In addition, the status and scope of the equestrian section continues to grow with the allocation of 12 Irish Shows Association qualifiers for All-Ireland Championships and important qualifiers for the Dublin Horse Show in July, namely: The Breeders’ Championship, The Ladies’ and Intermediate Side-Saddle Championship and the Invitational Qualifier for the winner of the Open Race to Riding Horse Class. The long-established and mutually beneficial association with Tydavnet Show in Co Monaghan will continue with the running of joint equine competitions for brood mares, first-ridden ponies and working hunters.
The importance of fair and impartial judging of all the classes has long be recognized by the Show Committee and care is taken in the selection of competent judges. Of the 50 judges attending the show this year, a large proportion will be local and from the South of Ireland as well as a number from England, Scotland and Wales and a Danish Judge, Mr A Mortenson, who will be judging the Hereford Classes. We are also pleased to welcome Izzy Whittaker from Shropshire who will be judging the Dairy Interbreed Classes. As well as running the prize winning Knowlesmere Herd of Pedigree Holsteins, Izzy writes for Holstein International and we are very pleased to welcome her.
Finally, to ease the traffic problems this year, visitors are encouraged to use the parking fields on the Mullabrack / Hamiltonsbawn and Tandragee Roads and make their way to the entrance gates on those roads where they will be transported to the Show Grounds by free Park & Ride trailers pulled by tractors kindly sponsored by Burke’s of Cornascriebe and Alan Milne Tractors, Newry.
Make a date in you diary and come early and enjoy all the fun with your family at the Armagh County Agricultural Show and Country Festival on Saturday 11th June 2016 … a day not to be missed! Check out our Web page www.armaghshow.com and find us on Facebook and Twitter. Entrance fees are £10 for adults with children under 16 free.