Omagh Show: Bigger, better and brighter

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Bigger, better, brighter and bolder is the only way to describe the bulging programme of events lined up for this year’s annual Omagh Show.

The 177th agricultural extravaganza, which takes place on Friday June 30 and Saturday July 1 again boasts a stellar cast that has been meticulously pieced together by show organisers, the Tyrone Farming Society.

Edwin Cartwright, secretary of the Tyrone Farming Society, left, Kieran McGinn, representing the McGinn family, sponsor of the Eddie Mc Ginn Memorial Horse Speed event, second left, with Thomas Harkin, chairman of Tyrone Farming Society and equestrian organiser Anne McDermott at the Omagh Show launch.Jmac-06

Edwin Cartwright, secretary of the Tyrone Farming Society, left, Kieran McGinn, representing the McGinn family, sponsor of the Eddie Mc Ginn Memorial Horse Speed event, second left, with Thomas Harkin, chairman of Tyrone Farming Society and equestrian organiser Anne McDermott at the Omagh Show launch.Jmac-06

Local farming’s showpiece occasion has a habit of producing the spectacular and a quick glance at the 2017 menu would suggest there is mouth-watering choice and an abundance of tasty treats for all the family to get their teeth into.

If it’s bigger you’re after then look no further than an ever-growing equestrian section which now boasts a prize-fund in excess of £20, 000 and attracts some 1,300 horses and riders, many of which will bring with them a wealth of international experience.

With the new all-weather warm-up arena proving a major selling point, many a rookie and experienced horseman or woman have enhanced their reputation by capturing some of the top honours at Omagh Show, among them the TRM/Horseware Grand Prix, the McGinn Speed and Puissance Qualifier to name but a few.

Across all sections the show has grown beyond all recognition since its game-changing switch to the purpose built facilities at the Drumquin Road showgrounds more than a decade ago.

The farming spectacular has continued to live up to its billing as one of the leading events of its kind outside Balmoral with growth across all classes and categories including livestock, home industries, school, fashion, trade stands, vintage vehicles, crafts, YFC activities, music and a full spectre of on-stage entertainment.

Year on year the show committee has carried out its own SWOT analysis in a bid to tweak, improve and enhance and led by new chairman Thomas Harkin, secretary Edwin Cartwright, ladies chairperson Jennifer Hawkes and other leading officers organisers have again gone to great lengths to produce yet another fun-filled and bumper programme.

Not only does Omagh Show promise to be even better in 2017 but, if it were possible, it’s also set to be brighter.

Wall-to-wall sunshine of early summer combined with perfect ground conditions has given organisers and punters alike a renewed sense of optimism and enthusiasm that the 2017 spectacular could be one of the most memorable in recent times.

With thousands of visitors continuing to vote with their feet in making the farming festival the not-to-be-missed event in their calendar and the spirit of summer well and truly upon us more than ever the showgrounds will be transformed into a hive of activity and kaleidoscope of colour. No where is that vibrancy and explosion of colour more evident than the prestigious parade of prizewinners at around 2pm on the Saturday afternoon.

If the bigger, better and brighter hasn’t already fired the imagination then bolder will surely prove the deal clincher.

This year a couple of novel events are sure to send pulses racing with thrills and spills almost certainly guaranteed.

On Saturday afternoon a ‘Speed Shear’ event is set to take its bow at Omagh Show while lawnmower racing, yeah you heard it right, lawnmower racing will make its first appearance.

‘Speed Shear’ will see competitors from home and abroad go against the clock in shearing a single sheep with the winner expected to complete the task in around 30 seconds!

The YFC organised lawnmower racing on the other hand might just unearth the next Lewis Hamilton or Jensen Button.

With so much choice on offer it begs the question are you on the starting grid for this year’s Omagh Show?