The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) has announced plans to mark the date of its flagship dairy show online, showcasing some of the best Winter Fair stars of the decade.

The 2020 Royal Ulster Winter Fair was planned to take place on December 10, in association with sole sponsor Danske Bank. However, this year it will be replaced by ‘Winter Fair Online’.

Winter Fair Online

The virtual tribute will include a series of short videos where the show catches up with livestock and trade exhibitors.

In the lead up to the Winter Fair Online, members of the public will be able to cast their vote for their ‘Breed Champions of the Decade’ - an online vote that will take a trip down memory lane, showcasing the very best of the show’s dairy animals over the past 10 years.

They will then have the opportunity to vote for their ‘People’s Champion of the Decade’ - who will be named the overall winner.

Votes for the competition will close at 12:00 noon on Thursday, December 3. From there, the four Breed Champions with the highest number of votes will be entered into the ‘People's Champion of the Decade’.

The vote for the People's Champion of the Decade will close at 12:00 noon on Thursday, December 10 - what would have been the day of the 2020 Winter Fair.

Rodney Brown, Danske Bank (pictured above), said: “The Royal Ulster Winter Fair has always been the premier dairy event in the Northern Ireland agricultural calendar. Whilst the physical event had to be cancelled this year, we are delighted to continue our long-term support by working with the RUAS to deliver a new Winter Fair online format.

Whilst we are all experiencing many challenges at this time and having to adapt, we believe the industry has a bright future.

"Our ongoing investment and commitment to long term partnerships such as these will continue to be key as we work together to help Northern Ireland grow again.”

Rhonda Geary, RUAS operations manager, said: “Following the cancellation of the Winter Fair scheduled to take place on Thursday, December 10, 2020, at Balmoral Park, Lisburn, we wanted to bring you an online celebration of one of our key agricultural shows.

“Our popular dairy show attracts a large number of exhibitors and spectators in the lead up to the festive period and this year will be no exception.

The RUAS want to celebrate and showcase our vibrant dairy community online through a range of exclusive offers, promotional videos and also our Champion of the Decade competition that will be hosted on our website.

"Our sole sponsor Danske Bank has kindly provided prize money for all four Breed Champion Winners as well as the overall ‘People’s Champion of the Decade’.

"In addition to this, one lucky public voter will be selected at random to receive a prize courtesy of Danske Bank.”