County Antrim members celebrated victory at this year’s Balmoral Show after winning the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) Machinery Handling competition for the second year running. The competition, held in association with long term sponsor Johnston Gilpin & Co, saw a large crowd of spectators at the Cattle Lawn, where they cheered on the teams. The team, comprising members Oisin McAteer from Randalstown YFC and David Thompson also from Randalstwon YFC, was presented with the Machinery Handling Trophy on Thursday 11th May 2023.
Second place was awarded to County Tyrone which included members Timothy Keys from Trillick & District YFC and Henry Giles from Seskinore YFC.
Two members from clubs in each of the six counties, selected from county heats, made up the teams. Those who completed the course with the most points won the competition. Points were awarded for successfully making it through the course and driving through the posts, however, teams were penalised for a variety of reasons including not complying with safety regulations, touching markers, and unnecessary damage to the ground. The course included the use of two bales, a John Deer tractor provided by Johnston Gilpin & co, and a bail lifter. This competition was designed to test both the drivers’ tractor skills and safety knowledge.
Johnston Gilpin & Co have supported the YFCU machinery handling competition for many years and provide the machinery for the competitors to use during the event. Working closely with College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) and Johnston Gilpin & Co, who assist with the planning of the designated course to test the competitors’ tractor skills and safety knowledge.
YFCU would like to thank Johnston Gilpin & Co for their continued sponsorship and support of this event. The Association also extend their gratitude to William Richmond and Peter Verhoeven from College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).