All roads lead to Balmoral
The addition of a fourth day this year reflects the growing, popularity of the Balmoral Show
Late April signifies the start of the new showing season and last weekend exhibitors from around the country travelled to Thomastown in Co Kilkenny, a popular county show which traditionally serves as a wonderful venue ahead of the annual Balmoral Show which kicks off next Wednesday.
As the biggest show in the north of Ireland and the largest of its kind in the country, Balmoral is also one of the most popular for equine exhibitors across the board.
For the first time in its history, this year's Balmoral Show has been extended by one day and it will now run over four days from May 10-13.
The decision was made last year following some consultation with exhibitors, and also a review of the heavy traffic which has been a cause for concern since moving to the new venue of Balmoral Park in 2013.
It is hoped the extra day will now help alleviate traffic congestion within the show car parks in order to facilitate the 80,000 plus visitors that attend the show each year.
Commenting on the move, RUAS operations director, Rhonda Geary, said: "We are very excited to bring our amazing show offering to a fourth day, on a Saturday, which has been called for, for many years. The four days will include all that is brilliant about Balmoral, grassroots agriculture alongside a mix of shopping, entertainment and attractions.
"We are also delighted to see a marked increase in many livestock sectors including equine and beef, and are looking forward to a full house competing for prestigious Balmoral titles."
In the horse showing, the opening morning will see the judging of some of the heavyweight hunters, followed by middleweight and lightweights. The supreme championship will be decided in the Main Arena that afternoon.