SOME new additions to the program should ensure the 2019 Bengalla Upper Hunter Show is another outstanding success.
This year, the committee has secured the services of the Rooftop Express Wild West Arena Spectacular, which will be the headline act at the Muswellbrook Showground over two big nights – Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16.
A number of show stalwarts are also expected to receive Life Memberships during the official opening, while the Muswellbrook Shire Local & Family History Society Inc is releasing a book on the event’s “good old days”.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” Upper Hunter Show Society president Keith Googe said.
“While we’ll still have everyone’s favourites like the demolition derby, Sideshow Alley, State of Origin Polocrosse Series, tent pegging, whip cracking, music, Upper Hunter Showgirl and the popular pavilion, the Rooftop Express Wild West Arena Spectacular will replace the FMX motocross extravaganza.
“That features world-first stunts, true blue Australian comedy and awe-inspiring horsemanship.
“The fireworks will go ahead on the Saturday night, following the Triple B Rodeo on the Friday evening.
“We’ve extended that [rodeo] schedule to include roping disciplines in 2019.
“It’s important to make adjustments each year to keep the event fresh.
“We’re working harder on participation numbers for the Young Farmer Challenge, tug-of-war and Wife Carrying Championships, too.”
Mr Googe stated the show was for everyone – not just those who reside in Muswellbrook.
“This event represents the Upper Hunter,” he said.
“We’re hoping to attract more residents from Scone, Merriwa and Murrurundi.
“Competitors from as far as a 1000km radius are heading here to showcase their best.
“In fact, there are no excuses these days not to compete.
“So, we’d like to see anywhere between 5000 and 6000 people in attendance.
“Our thanks must also go to the many sponsors on board, including our long-standing supporter Bengalla Mining Company.
“We couldn’t run this event without the assistance received from so many businesses and the community.
“For that, we’re eternally grateful.”
Bengalla CEO Cam Halfpenny said the company was very proud of its ongoing involvement with the show over the past 22 years.
“The Upper Hunter Show is an event that draws people from across the Upper Hunter to a great range of rides, exhibits and entertainment,” he explained.
“The committee is to be congratulated on its efforts.
“It is a tough time for our farmers during this dry spell.
“We are pleased to be able to partner with the show to support agriculture within our community.
“It is great to see our farmers showcasing their award-winning livestock and local produce.”
Although all the action starts on Friday (March 15), the Upper Hunter Show will officially open on Saturday (March 16), along with the crowning of the Upper Hunter Showgirl following the Grand Parade.
A two-day pass is available for $50 (family – two adults, up to three children) or $25 (adult).
A one-day pass is $30 (family – two adults, up to three children), $15 (adult), $5 (children up to 14 years) and $5 (aged pension).
There’s free entry to the horse show on Sunday, March 17.