9 of the best pictures from the Balmoral Show

Thousands of visitors flocked to Northern Ireland’s biggest agricultural event, the Balmoral Show, at the Maze this week (11-13 May).

The event was so successful that organisers may extend it to last four days next year.

See also: Charollais wins interbreed title at Balmoral Show

A highlight of the three-day event was the quality livestock on display, with history made in the beef ring when the Martin family won the interbreed for the first time with a British Blue.

1. Father and son James and Sam Martin were delighted when their home-bred British Blue won the interbreed beef championship.

James and Sam Martin

© Robert Smith

2. There was a strong line-up of Suffolks on the first day of the show (Wednesday, 11 May), with more than 20 animals competing.

Line-up of Suffolk sheep

© Robert Smith

3. Nathan Glen from Ballynahinch had lots of fun in the National Sheep Association pavilion riding on a new green breed of sheep.

Nathan-Glen-from-Ballynahinch riding on a green sheep

© Robert Smith

4. Alex Hutchinson from Comber, County Down, was snapped preparing her Blue Texel for the showring.

Alex Hutchinson preparing her Blue Texel for the show

© Nathan-Glen-from-Ballynahinch-(1)

5. In the Limousin ring, This Farming Life star Martin Irvine was on hand to judge the classes. He awarded the Limousin championship to Philip Green, Lisburn, County Down.

Philip Green with Martin Irvine

© Robert Smith

6. Another star from the TV-hit series, John Scott, judged the Beltex class.

John-Scott judging the Beltex competition

John-Scott judging the Beltex competition

7. Janet Carson, Strabane, County Tyrone, with her beloved Blue Texel.

Janet Carson kissing a sheep

© Robert Smith

8. Clive Richardson and his daughter Sophie from Enniskillen with their ewe lamb awaiting the judge’s decision. She won first prize.

Clive Richardson with daughter Sophie from Tamlaght- Enniskillen with their First prize Blue Texel ewe lamb

© Robert Smith

9. Judge Berwyn Hughes from Ceredigion deliberates over the commercial beef class.

Judging of the commercial beef class

© Robert Smith