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RUAS members vote on Show’s big mooo-ve

By Stephen McVey

Members of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society attended a meeting last night (Tuesday) to decide on the future venue for the famous Balmoral Show. Ireland’s largest agricultural and food show has been held at King’s Hall in South Belfast for over 100 years but is expected to be relocated to a 65 acre plot of land at the former Maze prison near Lisburn.

Tens of thousands of people regularly attend the event and if the vote is successful the move will happen in time for the in 2013 show.

John Bamber, the RUAS President said he has faith in the membership to put the long-term interests of the Society first.

“The long history of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society is punctuated with periods of deep reflection, opportunity and change,” said John Bamber. “Each time, our membership rose to the occasion and seized the moment. We now face our own deciding moment, and the vote will determine our future. Years of work and deliberation have gone into the Legacy Project and it is now time for this era of members to have their say,” he said.

RUAS members have discussed why they believe the proposed move to the Maze represents the best way forward for the Balmoral Show.

David Wilson, star of the recent UTV programme Rare Breed, feels the change of venue can accommodate a bigger and better Balmoral Show.

“The proposed move will see the Balmoral Show become more accessible for exhibitors from Fermanagh and beyond. We enjoy showing our cattle every year, but the restricted access coupled with city bound traffic each day can be very frustrating.”

Chief Arena and Show Safety Steward, David Cunningham urges members to support the move to the Maze.

“The stewarding and movement of animals between stalls and the showing rings is a logistical and safety nightmare. The only way to allow Balmoral Show to grow is to move to the Maze to enable new breeds and disciplines to take part. We have a waiting list of both exhibitors and competitors who cannot currently be accommodated at Balmoral.”



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