The 37th Royal Ulster Winter Fair in association with sole sponsor, Danske Bank, takes place at the Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park, Lisburn on Thursday 14 December.

The one-day event, which runs from 9am through to 6pm, normally attracts over 5,000 visitors, with close to 200 trade stands spread across the two main exhibition halls and displaying the latest technologies and innovations in farming.

While the event has a dairy focus, there is lots to see for farmers from all sectors.

Tickets can be bought in advance at or it is also possible to purchase tickets on the gate.

The cattle judge at the 2023 Winter Fair is Mike Duckett from Rudolph, Wisconsin

Prices are up this year, with admission for adults at £12, youths (12 to 18 years) and seniors cost £9 while children under 12 get in free when accompanied by an adult.

The headline attraction at the Winter Fair continues to be the judging of Holstein, Jersey, Ayrshire and Dairy Shorthorn cattle.

The judging programme gets underway at 9am with showmanship classes, followed by various breed classes which begin at 10am.

The programme concludes with the supreme championship at 4pm.

Judge this year is Mike Duckett from Rudolph, Wisconsin, the owner of the renowned Duckett Holsteins herd. Mike has judged at various events across the US and Canada.

Supreme champion

His final task will be to select the supreme champion, a title awarded to the Fleming family from Seaforde in Co Down last year with their fourth calving Jersey, Potterswalls Chrome Glamour.

It was the second year in succession a Jersey cow took home the top accolade, with Holstein cows winning in the three years prior to that, two of which had travelled from the Republic of Ireland.

High-five to Lindsay Fleming of Seaforde, Co Down, from judge Pierre Boulet of Canada after wining the overall Interbreed Champion at the 2022 RUAS Winter Fair. \ Houston Green

While a strong entry from across the island of Ireland is again expected this year, there are a number of top breeders from Northern Ireland who are unable to compete due to bovine TB restrictions.

If you do attend on 14 December, please drop by the Irish Farmers Journal stand, which is located in the middle of the main Eikon Building. We always welcome feedback from readers.

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