Focus on families and thoroughbreds at this weekend's Ballarat Show

Riding high: Rooftop Express' David Manchon relaxes with his horse Rooftop Rocy before the Ballarat Show on November 11-13. Pictures: Kate Healy
Riding high: Rooftop Express' David Manchon relaxes with his horse Rooftop Rocy before the Ballarat Show on November 11-13. Pictures: Kate Healy

Prepare for a rollicking outback experience like no other at this weekend’s Ballarat Show.

The Courier’s Rooftop Express Wild West arena show will thrill parents and children alike over three days

Wild cattle will be wrangled, horses will perform athletic feats, and there will be something for revheads too.

The headlining arena spectacular will have five showings, with a 12pm show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and 7.30pm events on Friday and Saturday night. 

Rooftop Express’ David Manchon said the show, a first for Ballarat, will lift the curtains on life as a stockman in the outback.

“I can’t wait to perform here, and the Rooftop Express really has something for everybody,” he said. 

“Cities like Ballarat are really at the crossroads of country and city.

“You’ll look out and see an old sheep cocky sitting next to a city family.

“I hope kids become more aware that the whole of Australia is a big place, and there are people who live on millions of acres this is what they do for a living.”

Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society president Kerri Gallagher said the expansive event didn’t focus on entertaining just one generation. 

“This show has been travelling Australia and it’s been so, so popular as a show for all ages to watch,” she said. 

“It showcases wonderful horsemanship and you’ll be able to see what animals can actually do.”

Amazing: The Rooftop Express arena spectacular will showcase the athleticism of working animals, with horses scaling trailers and performing tricks.

Amazing: The Rooftop Express arena spectacular will showcase the athleticism of working animals, with horses scaling trailers and performing tricks.

Now in its 151st year, the Ballarat Show continues to showcase arts, crafts, cooking and farming from the region.

More than 300 displays and attractions will be onsite, include a plethora of showbags and high-octane carnival rides.

Animals will be centre stage across the weekend, with opportunities to pat ponies and smile with snakes. The popular dog jumping competition on 1pm Sunday. 

The Regent Cinema Treasure Trail provides children with show surprises under $2 at every turn. 

“We’ve really put an emphasis on trying to make this year’s Show as affordable as possible,” Ms Gallagher said. 

“Families can even bring a picnic if they want to and set themselves up on the grass.”

The Woolworths Family Pavilion will host a number of free food crafts, entertainment and play areas, with coffee, tea and fruit available when busy families need a break. 

Entry is $40 for a family ($35 on Family Friday), $17 for adults, $10 for pensioners, $7 for children and those under five years are free.

A Family Carnival Night on Friday between 5pm and 9.30pm will have reduced entry rates. For more information, visit www.ballaratshow.org.au.