Judging line-up announced for 153rd Balmoral Show

28th Mar 2022

The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) is delighted to announce an exceptional line-up of judges for the 153rd Balmoral Show in partnership with Ulster Bank, taking place from Wednesday 11th May – Saturday 14th May 2022. 

As Northern Ireland’s largest agri-food event, the Show attracts a high calibre of judges from across the UK, Ireland and further afield, all bestowed the honour of crowning the Champions of Show.

This year sheep classes make a welcome return with three new breeds added to the line-up including Valais Blacknose judged by Brian Matthews and Berrichon and Bleu Du Maine judged by Clarke Lamont and Ian McConnell respectively. The Sheep Young Handlers will be handled by local NI man, Michael Graham from Antrim.

Beef cattle have a strong line-up of classes and the difficult task of judging the Champion of Champions and Junior Championship falls to Mike Durno from Ballindalloch. Beef Interbreed Performance and Stock Judging classes will be judged by Cork man, Albert De Cogan. The Beef Pairs, Group Championships will be overseen by William Smith from Co. Meath while the Beef Young Handlers will be judged by Marie Louise Ryan from Thurles.

In the Dairy section, Iwan Morgan from Carmarthenshire will be tasked with judging both the Dairy Cattle and Dairy Young Handlers.

Beanie Sturgis from Wiltshire and Vincent Seddon, Gloucestershire will be judging the Hunters while the Performance Ridden Irish Draught will be judged by George Chapman, Jane Gilchrist and Jane Collins.

This year the Racehorse to Riding horse class will be overseen by renowned trainer WP Mullins and retired National Hunt jockey Richard Johnston. The newly titled ‘Balmoral Star of the Future’ Performance Horse Championships will be judged by Eric Smiley.

In the fold, there will be a full complement of judges from the province overseeing the shearing classes. This year the Balmoral Show will host the Six Nations Machine Shearing Championships with competitors travelling from Northern Ireland, Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland and France.

Judging the Goats will be Vickie Hardy from Kirby while young handlers will be overseen by Vaughan Byrne from Dromara. Andrew Warriner from York will take control of the pig classes while the Pig Pairs will be judged by former RUAS president Cyril Millar from Coleraine.

The poultry section will welcome Andy Marment from Cornwall, Ian Allonby from Cumbria and Kevin Dowrick from Cornwall. Pigeons will be judged by Tandragee man Cyril Beattie while Shelled Eggs & Championship, Children’s Decorated Eggs will be overseen by Colin Clarke hailing from Norfolk.

Mark Stoddart from the Yorkshire Agricultural Society will be on site as judge of this year’s Trade Stand Awards while the highly desired Champion of Champions title will be judge by BBC Radio Ulster’s very own Nicola Weir.


Horses & Ponies

Clydesdales, Farm Cart/Agricultural Vehicle, Heavy Trade Turnouts, Clydesdale Young Handlers
Jenette Farley, Carluke

Clydesdale Ridden
Jenette Farley, Carluke

Breeding & Young Stock
Magus Nicholson, North Yorkshire
Patricia Stirling, Selkirkshire

Beanie Sturgis, Wiltshire
Vincent Seddon, Gloucestershire

Performance Ridden Irish Draught
George Chapman, Gorey
Jane Gilchrist, Perth
Jane Collins, New Port

Registered Irish Draught Ridden
Jane Gilchrist, Perth
Jane Collins, New Port

Cobs & Maxi Cobs
Jane Cooper, Dorest
Brian Storey, Carlisle

Ian Smeeth, Gloucestershire

Ladies Hunter Astride
Amelia Bevin, Suffolk
Ian Smeeth, Gloucestershire

Riding Horses
Amelia Bevin, Suffolk
Ian Smeeth, Gloucestershire

Ladies Side Saddle Balmoral Classic
Amelia Bevin, Suffolk
Ian Smeeth, Gloucestershire

Working Hunter Horses
Beanie Sturgis, Wiltshire
Jody Sole, Suffolk

Small Working Hunter and Cob Working Hunter
Jane Cooper, Dorset
Brian Storey, Carlisle

Hackney / Private Driving and Trade Turnouts (Light)
Nigel Fuller, Essex

Racehorse to Riding horse
William Mullins, Carlow
Richard Johnston, Herefordshire 

‘Balmoral Star of the Future’ Performance Horse Championships
Eric Smiley, Dorset

Children’s Ponies (Ridden)
Nigel Fuller, Essex
Janet Hoyle, Tottington

Working Hunter Ponies
Lyn Black, Glasgow
Charlotte Miller, Durham

Connemara Ponies and Ridden & Working Hunter
Robert Fallon, Galway
Cathy Snow, Galway

Donkey Classes
Karen Logan, Lancashire

Referee Judge
John Bamber, Dromore
Diane Gibson, Newtownabbey

Kevin Buckle, Cumbria

Clarke Lamont, Dumfries

Bleu Du Maine
Ian McConnell, Dumfries

Blue Texel
Martin Sivill, St Asaph

Bluefaced Leicester/Mules
Derek Hall, Midlothian

Border Leicester
John Mauchlen, Roxboroughshire

Russell Gray, Lanark

Dorset Horn & Poll
Sam Driver, Derbyshire

Dutch Spotted
Pamela Parker, Lockerbie

Hampshire Down
Harry Middleditch, Suffolk

Ile de France
Clarke Lamont, Dumfries

Lyndon Trumper, Monmouthshire

Katie Esler, North Somerset

John Dugdale, North Yorkshire

North Country Cheviot
Tom Matthewson, Midlothian

Minority Breeds
Ernest Bainbridge, North Yorkshire

Rouge de l’Ouest
Ian McConnell, Dumfries

Andrew Wilson, Raphoe

Henry Gamble, Groomsport

Valais Blacknose
Brian Matthews, Killeigh

Ally Baird, Dunblane

Interbreed Pairs of Ewe & Ram Lambs, Shearling Ewes and Rams
John North, North Yorkshire

Interbreed Pairs Championship, Group of Three
Andrew Walton, Northumberland

Interbreed Overall Championships
Brian McTaggart, Castle Douglas

Sheep Young Handlers
Michael Graham, Antrim


Vickie Hardy, Kirby

Goat Young Handlers
Vaughan Byrne, Dromara

Sheep Shearing
Adrian Caldwell, Co. Tyrone
Alan Crockett, Co. Tyrone
Alan Longstaff, Co. Antrim
Andrew Rankin, Dunbartenshire
Brendan Kelly, Co. Antrim
Brian Megahey, Co. Antrim
Bryan Wilson, Co. Antrim
Colin Crowe, Westmeath
David Jones, Co. Antrim
David O’Neill, Co Tyrone.
Fionan Butler, Co. Antrim
Ian Montgomery, Co. Antrim
Jack Robinson, Co. Londonderry
John Ivor Davis, Wales
Klaus Keifer, France
Peter Webber, Devon
Richard Schofield, North Yorkshire
Robin Kennedy, Co. Antrim
Seamus Kelly, Co Antrim.
Tom Dunne, Wicklow
Tom Perry, Co Tyrone
Wallace Boyd, Scotland
William Jones, Co Antrim


Large White, Landrace, Pork Pigs, Interbreed Championships, Traditional Breeds, Pairs, Interbreed Championships
Andrew Warriner, York

Pig Pairs
Cyril Millar, Coleraine

Pig Young Handler
Pat McIver, Cossgar

Poultry, Pigeons, Eggs

Turkey, Waterfowl, Modern Game, Old English Game, Hard Feather, Bantams Large
Leon Smith, Norfolk

True Bantams
Andy Marment, Cornwall

Soft Feather (Light Large & Bantam)
Ian Allonby, Cumbria

Soft Feather (Heavy Large & Bantam)
Kevin Dowrick, Cornwall

Cyril Beattie, Tandragee

Shelled Eggs & Championship, Children’s Decorated Eggs
Colin Clarke, Norfolk

Beef Cattle

Aberdeen Angus
Brian Clarke, Norfolk

PJ Budler, Texas

Andrew Hornall, Stirling

David Lowry, Lanark

Mark Quick, Devon

British Blonde
William Laird, Fife

British Blue
Andrew Haste, Beaworthy

Iain Livesey, Melrose

Dafydd Lewis, Llanwrda

Beef Shorthorn
Bobby Landers, Wigtownshire

Mary Kay, Dorset

Irish Moiled
Derek Steen, Dumfries

Junior Championship and Champion of Champions
Mike Durno, Ballindalloch

Beef Group of 5 Native and Continental & Exhibitor Bred Pairs
Chris Pennie, Powys

Interbreed Performance Bulls & Heifers & Interbreed Stock Judging
Albert De Cogan, Co. Cork

Beef Pairs, Group Championships
William Smith,  Co. Meath

Beef Young Handlers
Marie Louise Ryan, Thurles

Beef Presentation Award
Alex Woods, Banbridge
Renton Ledbetter, Cupar

Dairy Cattle

Dairy Cattle
Iwan Morgan, Carmarthenshire

Dairy Young Handlers
Iwan Morgan, Carmarthenshire

Dairy Presentation Award
Alex Woods, Banbridge
Renton Ledbetter, Cupar

Trade Stands
Mark Stoddart, Yorkshire Agricultural Society

Champion of Champions
Nicola Weir, BBC

Download the list of judges by clicking here