THE Heathcote Agricultural, Pastoral and Horticultural Society has declared the 136th Heathcote Show a success.
With at least 900 people flowing through the gates, the show society said it was one of the better years for attendees.
And there was something for everyone, from arts, crafts and livestock to children’s entertainment.
This year was one of the largest for equine events, and secretary of the APH society Melinda Pengelly said there was quite a turnout.
“We had about 150 horses come through the gates on the day, it made it a great day and provided a lot of competition,” she said.
“Some of the entrants said it was the biggest show they’ve been to in terms of country shows, which is just terrific to hear.”
While the original estimate was 800-900 people, this was excluding entrants with horse floats, who paid only a single fee.
Show secretary Robyn Donovan said with two or three people per float fee, the total was likely to be closer to 1,000.
“Each horse float had more than one person in the car, some had the whole family,” she said.
“This meant the number of entries in the equine events was well up on last year.
“The number of entries in the animal sections were also higher: this year we had 28 dairy goats where last year we had none. It’s just fantastic to have people entering their animals for the competition.”
In the art and craft pavilion the titles for best flowers and artworks were hotly contested.
Ms Donovan said changes to categories allowed more entrants and more awards for some stunning pieces.
“The photography class got extended and we had some photos that were of a very high quality,” she said.
“The changes meant that we had more competition for the junior entries.
“While our flowers weren’t as impressive as some years there were still a lot of entries. It just ended up that the flowers had bloomed either too early for the show or they were yet to come out.
“Despite this, we had some beautiful roses and a lovely range of flowers to be judged.”
In the children’s section, Talitha Whitaker was crowned Miss Inbetween, Lily Johnson was Miss Junior and Cooper Leask gained the title of Mr Junior. Miss Tiny Tot went to Taylah Leask.
A crowd gathered throughout the day to watch the sheepdog trials. “They’re a crowd favourite, people are always stopping as they walk past to look at the skills of the dogs and the handling by owners,” Ms Donovan said.
“Our free kids’ entertainment was a massive hit. We had farmer Darryl, a balloon artist and the puppet show — the kids just love heading to those.”
For next year, the society is hoping for another high number of competition entries. “There have been some complaints about the show but we’re always open to suggestions and if anyone has great ideas we encourage them to consider joining the committee,” Ms Donovan said.
“The show isn’t about wine, it’s not about the food. It’s about the agriculture, pastoral and horticulture. It’s a chance for the family to have a great day out and for everyone to come together as a community.”