The Royal Bathurst Show had its origins in ploughing matches held by the O’Connell, Macquarie Plains, Campbell’s and Fish River Agricultural Association.
Under the guidance of Mr J W Lowe, the group held their first show on Easter Monday in 1860 at O’Connell Plains.
It was reported: “The day was clear and fine and the attendance of visitors was numerous for their first show. The road from Bathurst to O’Connell very rarely presented a scene of so much gaiety and splendour as was witnessed on that occasion.
“The first part of the day’s display consisted of the ploughing matches which took place in a large paddock belonging to Mr H M Fulton, Esq. These ploughing contests used hand-made timber ploughs known as ‘Wooden Swing Ploughs’.
“Considering it was the first show of the kind in the Bathurst district, the yards presented a very credible appearance. There were some very good horses, both old and young ... but only two pens of the woolly type.”