Castlewellan Show: Thousands have ‘fantastic day’ in shadow of the Mournes

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Castlewellan Show continues to be one of Northern Ireland’s most popular one-day events with Saturday’s 52nd annual show attracting thousands of visitors from all over Ireland and further afield.

The Mourne Mountains and a Scottish baronial castle formed a picturesque backdrop for the show, held in the Co Down town’s extensive forest park.

Show secretary Jackie Fitzpatrick was delighted with the success of the day. “It has been a fantastic day. There is a real buzz around the showgrounds and everyone is enjoying the lovely warm sunshine.

“Entries in the livestock, equine and home industries sections are on a par with last year, and popular attractions this year included a jiving display, alpacas, the scarecrow competition, and a stickmakers competition. We also welcomed a number of new trade exhibitors, and the ‘Grass Lads’ display continues to be a crowd-puller. “

The award for the best trade stand went to Artistic Design from Co Monaghan for its wonderful array of wooden sculptures. Runner-up was the RSPB who was praised by the judges for engaging with the younger visitors at the show.

Farm livestock exhibitors were out in force, with this year’s show playing host to the Hereford National Show, and the final of the hotly contested Danske Bank and Northern Ireland Shows Association Ewe Championships.

Ewe qualifiers from all over the country came under scrutiny from interbreed sheep judge David Walker, Ayrshire. Claiming the £100 cash prize and the Danske Bank Trophy was a Beltex ewe from Elizabeth McAllister’s Artnagullion flock at Kells, Co Antrim. Runner-up was a Charollais ewe from Jim Bell’s Lornbrook flock at Comber; while Stephen and Jane McCollam, Nutt’s Corner, claimed the second reserve award with a Texel ewe from their Carmavy flock.