Today is a significant date for exhibitors at this year's Fermanagh County Show, as Thursday, July 21 is the deadline for entries to the Home Industries Section of the Show, which takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 2 and 3.

This year's Show will have a full range of Home Industries classes as well as livestock with a new Suckler Cow and Beef Heifer championship.

This year will be the pilot year for Fermanagh Farming Society's new competition featuring a new Suckler Cow Classic Efficiency Competition, sponsored by the Vaughan Trust, when entries closed last Friday.

In fact, Fermanagh Farming Society said it was delighted to receive so many entries for the competition. The judge will be visiting farms prior to show days to qualify the finalists, which will be judged on Wednesday, August 3.

Everyone attending the Show will have an opportunity to view the excellent standard of suckler cows and breeding heifers. While this is a pilot competition, in years two and three, technical data will be included in the judging criteria, which will aid in better practices in farming, going forward.

The competition has a lucrative prize fund: 1st, £500; 2nd, £300; 3rd, £150; 4th, £150; 5th, £150. There is a bonus prize of £500, if the champion is from a Fermanagh herd.

In the Cut Flowers and Vegetables Section, the new Cecil Chartres Memorial Cup will be presented to the exhibitor with the most first prizes.

A spokesperson for Fermanagh County Show said: "It is an honour to present such an award, as Cecil was an outstanding competitor in the cut flowers and vegetable sections and presented more than 40 entries in one show.

"He showed immense dedication in craftsmanship, presentation and overall excellence within each entry. Cecil will be sadly missed, and we hope that anyone entering in more than one category can aim to achieve success, just as he did for many years as a competitor at the Fermanagh Show."

In other Home Industries Sections, exhibitors are busy preparing their entries.

Jacqui Blain and her young niece, Charlotte, are a dab hand at cookery, and over lockdown during the pandemic, were living the good life on the Crom Estate.

Jacqui found herself utilising wild produce growing around her in order to save a trip to the shops. From making her own butter from scratch, to eggs from down the path from her neighbour, isolation during early lockdowns only aided her creativity in baked goods.

Jacqui says her top recipes are her elderflower and elderberry cordials, her homemade wild garlic butter, with wild garlic foraged from just around the corner, her famous Guinness loaf (“Fabulous with a bowl of butternut squash soup in those cooler autumn months!”), and her lemon drizzle cake and raspberry/white chocolate scones, which she intends to enter in Fermanagh County Show's cookery competition.

This year, both Jacqui and her niece, Charlotte, will put their skills to the test by entering cookery and juvenile cookery sections. Charlotte is very excited to enter her brownies, which after several attempts, she feels she’s finally got right!

Meanwhile, Clodagh Fee is also looking forward to exhibiting at the Show. When Clodagh was nine years old, she was told by a friend about the competitions in the Fermanagh County Show, in reference to the juvenile categories, namely: art, baking, floral, photography and craft.

For four years, Clodagh entered every year, in as many categories as she could to ensure a win. Apart from that, she enjoyed the process, gearing up each summer for each project.

In 2019, she remarked about being on holidays and despite the short timescale a week before the show, she still entered and came away with a win!

Moving forward to 2020, when the announcement came that all events were cancelled due to the pandemic, Clodagh was disappointed, and the expectation of being able to showcase her talents fell away, unfortunately.

Clodagh mentioned that, during the pandemic, she definitely felt that painting was a great stress reliever. She says: “I mostly paint in the kitchen as I have my easel and easy access to the tap to change water.”

She enjoys painting animals in nature, with alternative, multi-colour schemes. As well as her painting, Clodagh is excited to enter in other categories this year, namely baking.

In 2019, she presented a one-tier cake in the juvenile sections, and now that she’s entering the adult categories, she’s upping her game with her double-tier chocolate cake. She will also enter in acrylic painting.

Clodagh’s advice for budding artists and bakers is: “It’s a fun thing to do; if you are reluctant to enter, don’t be – it’s a relaxing thing to do, just go for it!”

Entries for competitions close today, July 21, only online, at