29 May 1998

Balmoral plays host as YFs compete in team & solo events

The Royal Ulster Societys three-day Balmoral show is a

splendid exercise in packing with so much fitted into a

small space and the whole contained in a Belfast

residential area. Ann Rogers reports on some of the

family aspects of the lively, friendly scene

YFCU activity began with the sheep shearing competition in which James McNeill of the Glens YFC won the Lister Silver Handpiece, Alister Crawford of Newtownstewart YFC was runner up and Ian Gordon of Straid YFC was third.

The machinery handling and safety competition (pictured below) occupied the Cattle Lawn on the first night of the show for a test of skills devised by officers of the Health and Safety Executive.

The winning team came from Co Down (Ian Gibson, Hillsborough YFC and Andrew, Glenn Hillhall YFC) with Co Londonderry (Gary Cahoon, Moneymore YFC, and Robin Bolton, Kilrea YFC) second and Co Armagh (Christopher Hamilton, Mullahead YFC and Philip McCartney, Collone YFC) third.

The following evening a large crowd of supporters watched the Clows tug-o-War championship which was won by Hillhall YFC.

Winners of the YFCU photographic competition received their awards at the show as follows: Country life 1 Hazel Watton, Coleraine YFC; 2 Trevor Alcorn, Clanabogan YFC; 3 Robert Graham, Kesh YFC. YFC activities 1 Mark Watton, Coleraine YFC; 2 Hilary Campbell, Newtown-stewart YFC; equal 3 Helen Patterson, Kilrea YFC and Linda Davis, Lylehill YFC. Our Ulster 1 Rosalind Ellis, Kells & Connor YFC; 2 Rosalind Ellis, Kells & Connor YFC; 3 Hilary Campbell, Newtownstewart YFC.

On the last afternoon of the show the young farmers staged quite a different competition – the YFCU Inter-agency games. When Farmlife reached the Cattle Lawn teams were racing on plastic barrels, after which there was a lot of splashing in muddy water in search of plastic ducks. Teams from Loughry College, the UFU and NFU, RUAS, agricultural journalists and the WI competed with the Young Farmers and after much battling and hilarity, the college team emerged victorious.

Still young farmers at heart: Teams from several food and agricultural organisations scramble for plastic ducks in the YFCU Inter-agency games.

Dexterity and accuracy are essential in the machinery

handling and safety competition.