John Henning, the new President of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS), organisers of the Balmoral Show, said he considered it a privilege and an honour to lead the organisation in 2024 when huge crowds and the best weather for years led to a highly-successful event.

The Balmoral Show at Balmoral Park, Lisburn, attracted more than 100,000 people travelling from all across Ireland over the four days which ended on Saturday.

Mr. Henning, who spent the early years of his banking career in Fermanagh, and has many friends in the county, is the 37th President and only the second from Co. Armagh in the 170 years of the RUAS.

Last week’s Show was the 155th.

Mr. Henning recalled attending his first Balmoral Show in 1967. He became involved from 1979 and served on the Council from 1995.

He has served on cattle, show stewards and safety committees and was Chairman of the Winter Fair Committee over two five-year terms.

Mr. Henning has seen many different angles of the Show. When working with Danske Bank as Head of Agricultural Relations, he was involved as a sponsor, and has also been a cattle exhibitor for many years.

This year was his 30th consecutive year as an exhibitor of pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle, but he said the championship still eludes him.

“But there’s always next year,” he enthused, looking forward to another year of breeding in an attempt to exhibit a champion.

Mr. Henning’s day of official duties as Show President began each day at 7.15am but he had already tended to his Drumcorn herd of Angus cattle.

His duties have been mainly meeting and greeting many different people and hosting Presidential lunches and receptions, as well as some cup presentations.

Among those attending the Show was Agriculture Minister, Andrew Muir.

One of those receptions was for the Guild of Agricultural Journalists, of which he is a member, and where he thanked the many media representatives for their promotion and reporting on the many aspects of the Show.

He also enjoyed launching a very special machine.

The Lely stand was back again through Lely Eglish and the Irwin family, showcasing the Astronaut range of robotic milkers.

However, at Balmoral Show, John Henning was asked to launch Lely’s 50,000th robot globally, which was sold to a farmer in Northern Ireland. The event was livestreamed.

Mr. Henning and his wife, Ann, enjoy visiting agricultural shows around the British Isles and locally in Northern Ireland.

The RUAS reported that the 2024 Balmoral Show offered visitors the opportunity to meet local producers and learn about the food journey from field to fork.

The event’s action-packed programme had something for everyone with thrilling International Show Jumping in the Main Arena, a Six Nations Wool Handling Championship in the Shearing Pavilion, and tantalising tastes in the NI Food & Drink Pavilion, not to mention outstanding livestock in the various showing rings.

The four days of sun and considerable visitor numbers left Show organisers at the RUAS delighted with this year’s event.

Rhonda Geary, RUAS Group Operations Director, said: "This year’s Show has been a huge success, and we are immensely proud to continue to bring producers and consumers together to celebrate exceptional livestock and food.

“The Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank, is a special occasion for many families and an excellent opportunity to reflect on how the agri-food industry continues to evolve and adapt."