Organisers have declared the 159th Kyneton Show an enormous success with perfect spring weather on Show Day setting new attendance records.
Kyneton Agricultural Society secretary Josephine Rutledge said more than 5800 people went through the gates over the two days, well up on the 5000 last year.
She said the country-styled parkour obstacle course was as popular as ever and had become a fixture of the show.
“The parkour was mind boggling, the amount of people in there, and they just loved it so much,” Mrs Rutledge said. “They loved climbing over the ute and the motorbike, jumping between the bales, going on the ladder, flying over the farm fences.”
Some had an unexpected splash trying to navigate over the water trough on the rope swing but most enjoyed the dip in the warm weather.
The Farm Shed was the busiest it’s been in its six years, with more than 600 plastic bottles and old tea cups turned into pots and planted with petunias, marigolds and sunflowers, all grown from seed by organiser Nicole Laity.
“The kids love getting their hands dirty and parents just couldn’t believe it was free,” Ms Laity said. “Children and adults loved the flowers and there will be lots of giant sunflowers popping up and showing their heads for Christmas.”
The sheep shearing demonstrations were popular with youngsters taking home a clutch of fleece while the Guess Whose Poo display entertained the adults as well, with rare unicorn droppings as well as rocking hose poo among the sheep, alpaca, cow and horse manure, kangaroo and possum poo.
Horticulture was a highlight of the pavilion competition with entries well up on last year and a strong showing in the new home brew section.
It was only the second year the winners in the Watts Pavilion were revealed on the Friday night with big crowds again when it re-opened on the Saturday.
“It was hugely successful both days,” Ms Rutledge said.
“People are just in awe of how many things were in the pavilion and how well it was laid out, the quality of the display and amazed at what people can create.
Chief pavilion steward Renai Dudley said the pavilion had become a real social event.
“It had a wonderful vibe, so many happy and excited people – adults and children – running in, finding their entries and calling family and friends over to see what they have done,” Ms Dudley said.
“We have so many talented people, which is the reason the display looks so wonderful.”
Numbers were up 16 per cent on last year in the dog show with 446 dogs entered. Steward Janet Brownlee said it was particularly pleasing when dog show entry numbers were generally declining.
Horse entries were also up with strong entries in the pony club ring and topsy ring for learners. There was an impressive display of harness horses on the oval after the competition, from a miniature up to a percheron cross who’d already turned heads on the way to the show.
Rose Latimer and Stephen Holgate drove the six kilometres from Carlsruhe to the showgrounds by horse and buggy with the eight-year-old Patrick pulling their 1890s Abbott Buggy through the main street of town.
“We got a lot of people pulling out their phones quickly to take photos which was lovely, and we’ve had a few pats along the way,” Ms Latimer said. “It’s a working vehicle, it’s not a show vehicle.”
The cattle display was also a chance to get up close with at least 200 children coming up to pat the heifer and as many patting the quiet bull.
Sapphire Halliday from Mount Macedon’s Waterford Charolais said the competition to guess the bull’s weight was popular with suggestions including the equivalent of two turkeys, or three horses.
“It was really nice to have some of the parents teaching their children about boys and girls, explaining the difference between a bull, a heifer and a calf, and talking about where milk comes from when the calf was drinking,” Ms Halliday said.
Stud sheep were on show in the MB O’Sullivan pavilion for the first time on the Friday night, along with a stunning display of fleece, before competition on Saturday.
There was also a dedicated alpaca display with a mother and her cria (baby) also attracting a lot of attention, while Farmer Darryl’s animal nursery was busy all day.
Kyneton Poultry Club president Graham Smith said the quality of birds on display was very good and the variety of birds on show was excellent.
“We had a few birds we had not had before. I don’t think I have ever seen a cream crested leg bar which is very rare; we had an American game bird and two campine hens, which are a Spanish breed,” Mr Smith said.
“We want people to come in and know there are different birds and there’s a lot more than just isa browns and commercial breeds,” he said.
Kiera Buzza, 16, and her young team demonstrated an impressive range of tricks with an entertaining story about whip cracking as well as free lessons on the Friday night while there was plenty of competition to see who could stay on the bucking bull the longest.
Laser tag in the hay bales was popular again this year as were the utes on show on the oval before a big crowd filled the grandstand and the displayed in front of the grandstand before the impressive fireworks display on Friday night.
The 160th Kyneton Show will be on November 20 and 21 next year.