The Gunnedah Show Society pulled off another cracker show in 2018.
It was a special year for the society, which put in the hard yards for the 130th year.
This year’s show boasted nine showgirls and more than 60 events over three days.
The weekend kicked off with the opening of the art and photography pavilion on Friday night. The showgirls served finger food and mingled with the crowd before the winners of the showgirl competition were announced, followed by the winners of the art and photography sections.
Show society president Rob Witts said thousands passed through the gates of Gunnedah Showground from Friday to Sunday, with a surge in numbers on Saturday afternoon.
“Our gate taking was the third highest since 2000. This one surpassed last year,” he said.
“Overall, I think it was a great success.”
Mr Witts said there were heaps of families out for the day, with kids getting their faces painted, choosing showbags and having a go on the rides. There was also a huge roll-up of horse riders who competed in numerous events over the weekend.
“In the showjumping, in the main event, there were virtually double the contenders there were last year,” Mr Witts said.
“Four of the horses were world cup qualifiers.”
A wild storm hit the showground at dusk, with hail, rain, thunder, lightening and strong winds scattering the crowds until it passed. The show carried on after the storm, with a rodeo, live band, wife-carrying competition, tug-o-war and a huge display of fireworks.
“I thought it was a great vibe at the show,” Mr Witts said.
“I sat at the rodeo and after the fireworks for awhile and people were thoroughly enjoying it and there were a lot of families sitting up there [on the hill].
“I asked different convenors how their sections went and they said all the feedback they got back from people was positive.”
There was a handful of British show-goers including the mother of show society’s Jackie Weston.
“We had our secretary’s mother from England was out and she was thrilled with how many things there were,” Mr Witts said.
“It was good to get feedback from another nation, how they felt about it.”
The show’s 130 years were captured in a memorabilia display put together by the Gunnedah and District Historical Society.
“[The show] is just a huge community effort,” Mr Witts said.
“Thousands of hours go into setting up the show,” he said.
“When you consider the amount of events that are run over the few days, and the volunteers over the few days, not to mention setting up beforehand and the taking down and cleaning up afterwards.”
Mr Witts said he was thankful to the hard-working volunteers who give their time and skills to the show throughout the year and on the weekend itself. He also thanked the NVI for promoting the show on its website and in print.
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