110th Merriwa Springtime Show a testament to the rural show spirit

FROM prime cattle and sheep to poultry, produce and everything in between, the 2019 Merriwa Springtime Show went off with a bang.

While many of the show's sections were on par with previous years, some experienced a record number of entries.

Show president Rob Tindall said that during such a dry year, this was exceptionally satisfying for the committee.

"It's very rewarding to see so many people here and it's also very rewarding to see some really strong competitions in the various events," he said.

"The cattle section was huge - the biggest we have had for many years.

"It's been a tremendous roll up and we certainly got a very pleasant day for it."

Merriwa is renowned for its excellence in farming and the beef cattle section at the show was a fine example of that.

The section attracted 86 paraders, a record 86 junior judges and 57 cattle entries, which was also a record.

Winner of the Helen Tindall Memorial Prize for grand champion heifer fitter went to Caitlin Porter who was also awarded champion junior judge.

First placed heifer was awarded to Josephine Green, who also received first place in the 14s and under junior judging competition.

Swimcreek Show Steers received the most successful cattle exhibitor award.

Over in the poultry section, section captain Tyler Austin was extremely pleased with the standard and number of entries this year.

"We received a record number of entries - 216 birds - due to an increase in the number of pens this year," he said.

Champion bird of show went to Emmerson Johnson of Scone for her Modern Game Duckwing Male, which poultry judge Danny Mackney from Tamworth described as "in great condition, very fit and true to his type".

Mr Mackney, who has been judging poultry for four years, said for a country show Merriwa had a great setup which was "a credit to its committee".

The horse events, prime stock, merino sheep, prime sheep and wool sections also received a strong response with a high standard.

The same could be said for produce and pavilion entries with the Fairfax Pavillion overflowing with colourful exhibits, displays put together by local students and cake decoration courtesy of the Merriwa Country Women's Association.

The 110th show saw the return of the bi-annual Showgirl Competition in its 58th year.

Three contestants - Merriwa's Tahlia Kraefft, Scone's Lauren Eccles and Merriwa's Hayley Fairfull did an excellent job of being ambassadors for the show and rural NSW.

All three girls will be sent away to a professional development day in Glen Innes, a new initiative introduced to the show in 2019.

"It's always been a show policy just to send the winner away," Rob Tindall said.

"However this year we believe it's important for all our youth to strive for excellence and have the opportunity to go away to this school."

The 2019 Merriwa Showgirl winner, Lauren Eccles from Scone, said Merriwa hosts one of the best country shows she has been to, especially considering the struggles due to drought.

"I'd just like to thank the community for coming - without you we wouldn't have a show put on," she said.

"To the committee, Rob and Sarah, all the young people coming through and the people that have put in years and years of effort - I thank you.

"To the girls - thank you so much for putting your hand up.

"I know it's a bit intimidating to have to get up on stage and talk in front of a crowd of people so you can be proud of yourselves and the community thanks you for putting yourselves out there."

The annual Merriwa Show dog high jump competition was a highlight of the day yet again, with Scone's Jim Marshall and his loyal companion Fred Flintstone taking out first place.

Fred jumped jumped 2.2 metres, just short of a show record.

Outside the traditional events, Merriwa Show remains one of the more thriving traditional country shows that are left thanks to new initiatives that are introduced each year.

The 110th year was no different with many new attractions proving popular including chainsaw art, steak cook-offs, pig racing, a free children's tent, whip-cracking and the much-anticipated return of fireworks.

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