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Thousands brave the downpours for Omagh farm show

By Julie Hazelton

Published 04/07/2016

Overall show champion Robert Forde with his Simmental at Omagh Show on Saturday
Overall show champion Robert Forde with his Simmental at Omagh Show on Saturday
Orlagh, Eimear and Caoimhe McGovern (left) show off their prizes
Showgoers keep an eye on the sheep
Kerry Hill breeder Fiona McAllister
Duncan McDowell takes a rest

Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen was among the thousands of visitors at Tyrone Farming Society's 176th annual show on Saturday, where wellies, umbrellas and waterproofs were the order of the day.

The DUP minister said: "This is my first time at Omagh Show, and it's the fifth agricultural show I've attended since the election in May.

"There is a great turnout, and an excellent display of livestock, with organisers reporting increased entries in all sections, especially the sheep classes."

She added: "I am aware of the challenges ahead, and I recognise the pressures felt by farmers and how crucial scheme payments are to farm incomes. I have committed to pay at least 95% of eligible applicants in December, but aim to introduce advance payments from October."

Omagh Show boasted an array of trade stands and entertainment, including award-winning country music star Lisa McHugh.

The sheep section boasted classes for 24 native, continental and rare breeds. Scottish judge Archie MacGregor found his overall champion in a Texel ewe lamb exhibited by James Wilkinson from Cookstown.

North Antrim dairy farmers Iain and Joyce McLean dominating the dairy section to take the Holstein, Ayrshire and Jersey breed championships and the top three places in the dairy interbreed line-up.

Claiming the interbreed beef honours was nine-month-old Simmental bull Mullyknock Gallant ET, which was exhibited by Robert and Lorna Forde from Tempo.

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