Spa’s James and Kirsty dance to success

Spa’s James and Kirsty dance to success

6 February 2019

YOUNG farmers from all over Co Down descended upon a Belfast hotel recently for this year’s star-studded grand final of Strictly Young Farmers. 

More usually associated with Simmentals and Shorthorns the Strictly contestants showed they were equally at home with a good salsa or a samba on stage at the Crown Plaza Hotel in a bid to win the much revered glitter ball. 

The event sponsored by Barclays, saw Young Farmers’ clubs from all over Co Down welcome a crowd of over 700, made up of sponsors, family and friends, to support this year’s dancers. 

The enthusiastic audience were dazzled with a vast array of steps and styles including the cha cha cha, jive, charleston, paso doble and American smooth.

In preparation for the big night the committed couples underwent a strict regime every Monday evening since last November.  

Following much swinging, sweat and a lot of fake tan the couples were well able to showcase their talent at the annual event to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Society and local Young Farmers’ clubs.

The event was hosted by past YFCU president Roberta Simmons, of Rathfriland YFC, past YFCU vice-president Harry Crosby, of Spa YFC, and current YFCU vice-president Andrew Patton, from Newtownards YFC. 

Assisting with the evening’s entertainment were judges Karen Patterson from the BBC and past Young Farmer, James Trotman, Agri Manager for Barclays, Janet Plunkett, Fundraising Manager for Alzheimer’s Society in Northern Ireland, and Zita McNaugher, current YFCU deputy president.

Competing couples George Porter and Laura Sproule, Matthew Ney and Rebecca Nelson, Chris Reid and Sarah Robinson, Harry Walker and Emma Connolly, James Gilpin and Emma McAnea, Ward Patterson and Sarah Reid, Richard Kennedy and Jessica Lee, Harry Hamilton and Louise McAnea, Graham Annett and Sarah Graham wowed the crowd with their twinkle toes.

However, it was James McCauley and Kirsty Burrows, from Spa YFC, who danced their way to the top with their energetic charleston to be crowned Strictly winners 2019. 

The organising committee, led by Co Down YFC chairperson Linzi Stewart and secretary Kristina McKeag, thanked everyone who helped make the night such a success, particularly sponsors, hosts, judges, family and friends and last but not least the dancers, who were the stars of the show.