The rain stayed away, the crowds came out and Portadown was buzzing for the annual Country Comes to Town event on Saturday.
Animals, vintage vehicles, crafts, food and musicians drew the crowds not just to the main street but to the side streets, the People’s Park and the river bank.
Many traders had a good day – including home interiors shop Dandelion Lane which was “very busy”. Owner Jill Bennett, who won second prize in the window display, said while takings weren’t up dramatically, they had a lot of people over the door.
Men’s retailer Robert James said their takings were slightly better than normal.
President of Portadown Chamber of Commerce Adrian Farrell said it was a very successful day: “It was fantastic to see the town so busy and I would like to pay tribute to the organisers and funders.”
In the People’s Park, the Champion of Private Driving Classes was Pamela Marshall (Belfast) driving George Fawcett’s pair of Fresian Horses Yankee and Ludo to a Dog Cart. Reserve Champion was Wallace Shaw (Castlewellan) driving ‘Clarvalley Jewel’ to a Spindle Back Gig.
Champion of the In Hand class was Colin Beers (Killyleagh) showing Harry Beer’s ‘Rhydgwillim Cockatoo’. Reserve Champion was Mardy Glover (Hillsborough) with ‘Jill F’.
The In Hand under 13.2 hands class was won by Colin Beers (Killyleagh) and second was Tony Armstrong showing Emma Blakley’s ‘Loan Ash Melony’. The In Hand over 13.2 hands class was won by Mardy Glover, ‘Jill F’ and second was John Weir Jnr, ‘Rosehall Alexander’.
Coloured Horse – any height- won by Lorna Conroy (Glenavy), ‘Glenavy Irish Rose’.
Exercise vehicle (any height) -1, Joe McAleese (Aghalee) ‘Pinky’: 2, John Weir (Ballyclare) ‘Milltown Boy’: 3, Wallace Shaw (Castlewellan) ‘Clarvalley Jewel’: 4, Brian Bradley (Purdysburn) ‘Rhydgwillim Nice’.
Open driving class (traditional type vehicle) won by Wallace Shaw driving ‘Clarvalley Jewel’ to a Spindle Back Gig.
Country Turnouts won by Pamela Marshall driving George Fawcett’s pair of Friesian horses ‘Yankee’ and ‘Ludo’ to a Dog Cart.
Mountain and Moorland Horse driven to a suitable vehicle was won by Kathryn Wilson, driving ‘Kilshane Almond’ to a two-wheel Spindle Back Gig.
Concours D’elegance (Judged by Eugene Larkin) winner Tommy Irwin (Fintona) a pair of Friesian Horses ‘Eric’ and ‘Johan’ to a Brougham: 2, Pamela Marshall driving ‘Yankee’ and ‘Ludo’ to a Dog Cart: 3, John Weir driving ‘Milltown Boy’ to a Pickering Milk Float.
Lady Whip, 1, Cherith Wilson (Kilwaughter) ‘ Kilshane Almond’: 2, Pamela Marshall, ‘Yankee’ and ‘Ludo’.
Junior Whip won by John Weir Jnr, ‘Milltown Boy’; 2, Cherith Wilson, ‘Kilshane Almond’.
Light Trade, 1, Gordon Bell driving Bobby McWilliam’s ‘Lifford Willie’ to a Milk Float: 2, John Weir, ‘Milltown Boy’ to a Pickering Milk Float: 3, Tommy Irwin, ‘Eric’ and Johan’.