The Balmoral Show is celebrating its 150 year anniversary this May, but for the first time in the show’s history Riverside Special School, The Dexter Society and Dunbia are bringing something exciting that has never been done before.
Five pupils from Riverside Special School in Antrim have been working hard to learn the skill of showing Dexter cattle, and accompanied by 12 of their class mates in a team competition, it will for the first time see children with special needs enter the Cattle Ring.
Speaking at a pre-show launch to celebrate the pupils’ achievement and commitment to the training, Mike Frazer and the Dexter team who have been instrumental in the project commented: “it has been a real privilege sharing our passion for Dexter cattle and teaching the pupils from Riverside how to handle the animals for the competition at Balmoral Show.”
Shoan McCann, teacher from Riverside Special School said: “This project has been fantastic at helping our pupils engage with each other outside of the school environment and provided them with a real sense of purpose in preparing for the competition. We are all really excited to watch our pupils walk into the cattle ring which will also be celebrated as the first time children with special needs have ever done this in the history of the show.”
Dunbia, one of Europe’s largest agri-food companies has partnered with Riverside Special School and The Dexter Society providing sponsorship to allow the project to take place. A spokesperson for the company said: “Dunbia has always had a passion for supporting projects in our local communities; we are delighted to be working with Riverside Special School and some of NI’s leading Dexter breeders to support these pupils to achieve something great at Balmoral Show.”
Riverside pupils will take to the cattle ring at 2pm on Wednesday 16th May and the general public are urged to support and encourage them through spectating the event as they make history.