Sunny days and family fun draw strong crowds to Ballarat Show

GRAND CHAMPION: Richard Martin from Manoora Park stud in Mortlake with his almost 800kg prize-winning Limousin bull Manoora Park Marty. Pictures: Dylan Burns
GRAND CHAMPION: Richard Martin from Manoora Park stud in Mortlake with his almost 800kg prize-winning Limousin bull Manoora Park Marty. Pictures: Dylan Burns

Perfect weather has helped Ballarat Show enjoy one of its biggest crowds for years, with the annual three day event wrapping up late Sunday afternoon.

The annual celebration of agriculture, rides and showbags again captured the attention of visitors young and old with some of the show’s biggest beasts – the bulls who had taken up residence in the cattle pavilion –taking centre stage in judging on the final day.

Limousin breeder Richard Martin was looking forward to packing up his cattle and heading back to their Manoora Park stud near Mortlake, having arrived at the showgrounds on Friday.

ADRENALINE: Thrillseekers are flung upside down as they take on one of the stomach-churning rides under the bright sunshine as the Ballarat Show draws to a close.

ADRENALINE: Thrillseekers are flung upside down as they take on one of the stomach-churning rides under the bright sunshine as the Ballarat Show draws to a close.

The stud tasted success at Ballarat Show this year, taking home several blue ribbon titles including Grand Champion Bull for Manoora Park Marty, and Supreme Exhibit.

“It’s a wonderful result for us, especially in the bull section where in the last three or four years we’ve been reserve champion, so it’s good to actually get a first,” he said.

“A lot of work goes in to it, many weeks of getting washed, blown and worked on goes in to their coats and getting these animals to look and present well for the judges,” he said.

Cattle shared the arena on the last day of the show with showjumping, dog jumping and the popular The Courier Rooftop Express show which packed the arena for each of their five shows.

“The crowds have been fantastic across all three days, and The Courier Rooftop Express show has been amazingly popular and definitely pulling in the crowd,” said Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society executive officer Lucy Quartermain.

Three consecutive warm sunny days, not often enjoyed at Ballarat Show time, had organisers celebrating the strong crowds coming through the gates.

SHOWBAG HAUL: Archie, 7, Eleanor, 2, and Audrey, 5, from Navigators, show off their prized showbag purchases on the final day of the Ballarat Show.

SHOWBAG HAUL: Archie, 7, Eleanor, 2, and Audrey, 5, from Navigators, show off their prized showbag purchases on the final day of the Ballarat Show.

“I’m only about eight weeks in to the job, and everyone tells me I must be a blessing because they’ve never had weather like this for three days,” Ms Quartermain said.

Now in its 151st year, the Ballarat Show hosted arts, crafts, cooking, livestock and working animals from around the region.

Ms Quartermain said entries in all competitive classes – from cattle to cake decorating and everything in between – had been strong despite schedules being released later than usual due to staffing issues.

“I’m amazed at how strong the entries have been,” she said.

Sunday was also the state finals for the Dog Jump and Young Farmer Challenge, prime lamb judging, goat judging, and a sheaf hay toss competition.

The show boasted more than 300 displays and attractions onsite, include the crowd-favourite showbag alley and adrenalin-inducing carnival rides.

  • More pictures, page 13