Castlewellan Agricultural Show launch

Castlewellan Agricultural Show launch

11 July 2018

CASTLEWELLAN Agricultural Show is back this Saturday and promises an even better experience of local agriculture, food, crafts and rural pursuits.

The best of livestock competitions, show-jumping, rural crafts and pursuits, entertainment and activities for all the family will be spread across 50 acres of Castlewellan Forest Park.

Castlewellan Show each year is renowned for the quality of livestock with cattle, sheep, goat and pig sections for breeders and buyers to enjoy.

The organisers are once again delighted to welcome back the Danske Bank NISA Sheep champion final this year and have introduced the new Britmilk Beef Calf championship.

More than 750 sheep have been registered already, as has 350 cattle.

Sixty rabbits and the show’s largest ever entry of poultry with in excess of 400 birds will feature in their individual competitions.

Highlights of this year’s show also include:

The County Down Young Farmers’ final of the Build It competition alongside tug of war, tractor driving and water games.

A dog agility competition with over 100 dogs entered.

Market village with over 150 traders selling agricultural machinery,   environmental initiatives, livestock products, outdoor furniture, garden plants, farm toys, clothing and local crafts.

Mossvale Riding Club is hosting unaffiliated show jumping with entries taken on the day. In previous years, the main horse, pony and donkey classes have attracted in excess of 425 entries of high calibre with riders from throughout the island. 

Scheduled entertainment in one of the main rings with the Castlewellan Interchurch Choir and displays from Silverstream sheepdogs and East Down hunt. 

The Mayobridge farm model display with the very popular Grass Lads miniature working farm machinery and the Seaforde Vintage Club which always attracts the young and not so young. 

Judges will be circulating to award the Most Appropriately Dressed Lady and Gentleman with great prizes.

“This year we are delighted to have continuing support from DAERA NI Regional Food Programme and our local gourmet food tent includes producers of hand churned butter, cider, jams, chutneys, honey, tray bakes, infused vinegars, sauces and ice cream,” said a show spokesperson.

“It will also host a qualifier for the ISA Young Home Cook championship. The craft and information tent is packed with over 40 stalls selling jewellery, handmade cushions, clothes, wooden toys, paintings, baby items, skin products, pottery and stationery.

“The show appreciates the ongoing support from EDA Media, Newry Mourne and Down District Council  and Tourism Northern Ireland along with all our other sponsors and aims to attract people from throughout the island to enjoy the Mournes area.”

Castlewellan show offers a wonderful opportunity to enable children to get close to a range of animals with kid goats, lambs, NI Rabbit Club, hens and alpacas as well as an array of livestock. 

The goats will be occupying their usual location and again features the incredibly cute pygmy kune kune pigs.   

The pig section also offers an opportunity to see some of the rare breeds and less familiar pigs. 

The rabbit and poultry tents are always busy and children can pet and hold the rabbits to their hearts’ delight.

There’s also an opportunity for families to show off their pets as a small pet competition will be held with entries taken on the day. 

Visitors will get a chance to try out traditional crafts with felt-making, weaving, straw-making displays and can watch demonstrations of threshing and stick-making.   

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, along with the PSNI, will have their engines, liveried tractor, mobile police station and be putting on accident rescue displays as well as advising visitors on farm safety and crime prevention.  

Food is always a major aspect of the show and visitors can enjoy the Home Industries tent where they can taste the best local home baking, jams, crafts, photography, art and view a superb range of scarecrows created in the annual family competition.

The show has received over 1,600 entries in its schools section, including this year’s theme of the mythical unicorn. Made from recycled material, many of them will be on display.

Refreshments can be enjoyed at the Save The Children vintage tea tent or a stronger tipple at the bar.

The Farm Families Health Check unit will be on site and visitors can get on-the-spot Blood Pressure monitoring, BMI, cholesterol check and diabetic screening.

This year the show will host 40 US visitors from the Virginia Show as part of a cross-border initiative and the organisers look forward to showing them the best of County Down hospitality.

The show runs fem 9am-5pm and is free to under-16s and costs £5 for Young Famers members (with the card) and £10 for adults.

Car parking is free.

Visit for a full list of trade stands and attractions.