Balmoral Show: Jewel in crown of NI farming returns to its full glory

The jewel in the crown of Northern Ireland’s farming calendar - the Balmoral Show - returns to its full glory when it opens today, with organisers expecting some 100,000 visitors over its four day duration.

By Philip Bradfield
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 3:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 9:49 am

The show was cancelled in 2019 due to the pandemic and last year was delayed until September, when it ran with a somewhat reduced programme.

But this year -  the 153rd event - is back to full strength with a plethora of attractions old and new at Balmoral Park, just outside Lisburn

As ever, the show prides itself on its prize winning livestock, an unrivalled array of trade stands, the mouth-watering NI Food Pavilion - showcasing the very best of local produce - as well as a wide range of family entertainment and attractions.

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Leanne Greene prepares cattle at Balmoral Show which runs from Wednesday until Saturday this week .Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Skydivers from the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team will land in the main arena each day, and there will also be a musical military performance by the Band, Bugles, Pipes and Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment. 

Also on display will be a polo exhibition match as well as incredible performances by The Paul Hannam Quad Bike Stunt Show team.

Launching the 2022 event, Operations Director Rhonda Geary said: “We have just made our final preparations for the 153rd Balmoral Show in partnership with Ulster Bank. It is set to be a fantastic four days of family fun with prize winning livestock, live musical performances, fabulous food and great entertainment. Visitors can still buy their tickets online at www.balmoralshow.co.uk and during Show days, we will also have a livestream showcasing the very best of the show.”

The 2022 show welcomes the return of International Show Jumping following its absence in 2021 with six international competitions boasting a prize fund of over £40,000 running from Wednesday to Friday. Visitors can also enjoy action from the National championships, Schools Show Jumping and Under 10’s Championship.At the core of the show, as ever, there will be entries from over 3000 head of livestock, with sheep classes making a welcome return with three new breeds. This year there will also be quite a buzz from the Sheep Shearing Fold as the Six Nations Shearing Championship takes place on Saturday 14th May, but with shearing taking place every day.

Leanne Greene prepares cattle at Balmoral Show which runs from Wednesday until Saturday this week. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

The Met office forecast is optimistic, giving sunny intervals with some light showers for the first day, but with plenty of covered stands and attractions there will be no problem finding an occasional bit of temporary shelter if needed.

The full timetable of events can be viewed at www.balmoralshow.co.uk/whats-on/timetables

The Balmoral Show takes place at Balmoral Park, Halftown Rd, Sprucefield BT27 5RF.

Tickets can be bought in advance at www.balmoralshow.co.uk with early bird tickets available until 8pm today.The public can drive to the event as there is a public car park, however to reduce congestion there is also a free shuttle bus from Lisburn train station which is running for all four days of the show.

Local business Flossy Treats who will be attending Balmoral Show this year again.

Goldliner coaches to the show will be available from Foyle Street, Strabane and Enniskillen bus centres. 

For more information on trains, the free shuttle bus and coach travel to the show, see www.translink.co.uk/balmoralshow

The Balmoral Show venue is once more packed with events and attractions.