Almost 1,500 people have supported a fundraiser for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland (NI) launched at this year's Balmoral Show.

Visitors to the show got to meet 'Hope' the roan heifer, announced as the grand prize for a competition draw taking place on October 30.

Net proceeds from the sale of each ticket will be donated to Air Ambulance NI, the charity that works in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, to provide the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for Northern Ireland, 365 days of the year.

Competition entries can be purchased here online and cost £10 an entry or six entries for £50.

The prize heifer 'Hope' is a Limousin-cross, sourced at Jalex Livestock, weighing in at approximately 570kg.

Air Ambulance NI needs to raise £2 million each year to maintain its service

Libby Clarke, from Air Ambulance NI’s Agribusiness group, said: “It was lovely for our agri community to see Hope at the show and buy entries benefiting a cause that means a lot to them.

The air ambulance service is called upon for farming or agricultural incidents on average once every week.

"We’ve been delighted to have received support from Jalex Livestock, Culchie Comps and HVS Liquid Gold by way of sponsorship, meaning that we have a golden opportunity to raise substantial funds for this vital service."

Niall Turley, from Culchie Comps, the online competition company facilitating the fundraiser, said: “It was a busy four days, but lovely to be able to chat with people about the competition as usually, our sales are all online.

So many people said it’s worthy to keep the helicopter flying, we hope to sell many more tickets before the draw date.”