But after a hot dusty walk from the parked car to the showground – there were all the lovely familiar sights, sounds and smells of the country show, shady trees and a bit of a breeze.
And there was so much to look at, wonder at and enjoy.
In a small enclosure Dale Formosa showed what can be done with the super intelligence of the border collie, as his three dogs – “they’re among the top 50 in Australia” – rounded up some ducks, all done with just four basic commands and a calm voice.
Across the way Viv White demonstrated that shearing’s not only for blokes, as she deftly took the wool off her sheep and alpaca, all the more remarkable given that she had to teach herself when the shearing industry of the time had a strictly “no sheilas” policy.
And at Steve’s reptile world, as well as having a snake coil itself around if that was your fancy, there was also the chance to pat a baby crocodile.
In the Moller Pavilion tension was running high on Saturday morning, as Shane Olive, Terry Wright and Mark Kinneally had one of the hardest jobs of the entire show, tasting 11 tarts from a table groaning with every kind of pie studded with blueberries, peaches, kiwi fruit and macadamia nuts to decide on the winner.
A delighted and relieved Annmarie Nicholson won ‘Tart of the Show’ with her creation from “$35 worth of berries” from the farm just outside town, in a white chocolate custard, something she confessed to having spent weeks stressing about because she so much wanted to win.
“It would have been easier to sleep with half the town,” she quipped.
And away from the tarts, the working dogs, the shearing and the reptiles, there was the other world of horses and their riders going through their paces, and huge bulls trying to stay in the shade in between their 15 minutes of fame in the ring.
After the official opening, the honour of Miss Showgirl went this year to Shae Herwig.
Show secretary expressed pleasure and satisfaction at yet another “very, very good show” with record attendance, and thought the finale “just brilliant.”
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