It has been a tough 12 months for the agricultural show movement across the country with COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of many events.
- The Tenterfield Show was the community’s first major event in a year
- COVID-19 costs forced the event to run on a single day this year
- Show entries were up on last year in the majority of competitions
But Tenterfield in northern New South Wales can still boast its local show has not been cancelled in more than 100 years, when the showground served as a Spanish flu quarantine camp in 1919.
It was one of the last communities to host a show in 2020 and one of the first to stage a COVID-19 safe event on the weekend for its 144th.
Newly crowned showgirl Josie McIntyre, a 23-year-old speech pathologist, congratulated the Tenterfield Show Society for the “hard slog” it had put in.
“I think it’s proved to be such an amazing day especially with the amount of competitors that we’ve had and entries in the pavilion, all of that is really showing how many people want to support the shows that are going ahead,” she said.
A few weeks out from the show, the society decided it needed to cut the two-day event to a single day due to COVID-19 related costs.
While the majority of events ran publicly on Saturday, the merino judging and cattle dog trials ran behind closed gates on the Friday.
Brahman heifer wins Supreme on debut
It was the first show back in nearly a year for Stacey Clark from Staben Brahman Stud and the Casino breeder was surprised her young heifer Crystal Gem won Supreme Exhibit over a Speckled Park bull from Murwillumbah.
“We have had Supremes before at our local shows like Nimbin and Grand Females at Bangalow and places like that, but out here towards the Tablelands you don’t see a lot of Brahmans, so it’s pretty cool to win out here.”
Queenslander takes out cattle dog trials
This year’s cattle dog trials saw more than 120 entries in the maiden, novice and open classes with the runs stretching out to nearly 12 hours.
Wayne Wayte from Ballandean Station won the Open with Shady Acres Ally May after a run-off in the finals with Ben Gould and his dog Patch.
“It was a very good run of hers considering she’s a maiden bitch, so it was a big accolade,” he said.
“She’s straight back into it when we get home, she just goes back and does her normal job, everyday just on the station doing a mustering and so forth.
First win for merino breeder
Mudgee breeder Geoff Rayner judged a ram from the Glenburnie Merino and Poll Merino Stud at Walcha as the Sheep of the Show from some 40 entries.
Glenburnie’s Paul Pittman said the stud only started showing in the last few years and it was an absolute thrill to win their first Champion and Supreme.
“We think a fair bit of this sheep. He’s got great quality right through and a pretty fair animal for his type,” he said.
“We were in with some pretty high-quality studs here today, so we come knowing that we’d be proud to stand up with him but not expecting to come right to the top with the Supreme Exhibit.
A good year for roses
While rose entries were up this year, the Tenterfield Horticultural Society’s Kay Gray said it was disappointing numbers were down in other sections.
“But I think that after the last two or three years when people have been disappointed with the weather, this year has been a little better and it’s just great to see the colour and put it on display,” she said.
Welsh pony wins prestigious trophy
With riders itching to get back in the saddle, and $5000 worth of cash and prizes on offer, entries in the horse competitions were up this year.
A nine-year-old Welsh pony won the Lyle Bradford Memorial Supreme Led Exhibit of the Show, with owner Robyn Moroney describing Le-flirtuer Alfred as a quality pony.
“I was a bit concerned, there was at least a couple of others out there, but I’ve always got faith in him.”