YESTERDAY, Tamworth Showground was a hive of activity, with Tamworth Pastoral & Agricultural Association president John Rodd busily directing the A4E Workforce workmen in their setting up of the sheep yards.
Mr Rodd said the sheep, especially fat lambs, had had a great presence at the Tamworth Show in the past few years.
But the drought had meant there were no dairy cattle this year – although beef cattle entry numbers were “okay”.
“We’re going to have record sheep numbers – more than 100 stud sheep and more than 200 fat lambs in the fat lamb competition,” Mr Rodd said.
There would also be shearing demonstrations all day on Saturday and yard-dog trials on both Friday and Saturday, he said.
With rain forecast, he said they’d “contemplated” rain insurance.
“But we’ve been so long without rain we’ll go on, regardless... if we get three inches we’ll wear it,” Mr Rodd said.
“We really ask the people of Tamworth to come out because, even though it’s a drought year, the exhibits are really good.”
A rodeo will happen both nights from 6 o’clock, with the Inter-School Challenge on Saturday evening.
When asked whether the show was experiencing a surge in attendance in recent years similar to smaller towns’ shows, he likened the Tamworth Show to other big shows such as Dubbo, Wagga and the Bathurst Royal.
“Running shows in those cities is different,” Mr Rodd said.
“You’ve got to remember this show is bigger than smaller towns – there are more events happening in (competition with the show).”
Pavilion chief steward Lorraine Staniland is thrilled to see the photography section return after an absence of eight years – and also with its high quality.
“It’s come back quite well. The judges were impressed with the standard as well,” Mrs Staniland said.
Entry day for most sections in the pavilion is today, with fruit and vegetables and gardening entries due in on Friday.
A new art section is the Special Needs section for disabled people.
Judging occurs tomorrow, with the presentation for junior champions on Friday at 6pm.
Several general presentations are happening from 2pm Saturday on the cattle lawns – the senior and junior Showgirl, supreme beast of show, supreme hack of show and champion sheep.