HANDY KNIGHT: Winner of the cow milking competition at the Beef Week breakfast was Colleen Knight, measuring up with judge Jack
HANDY KNIGHT: Winner of the cow milking competition at the Beef Week breakfast was Colleen Knight, measuring up with judge Jack Brenden Allen

Beef Week off to a soggy start

DRESSED in flannelette cow-hide print pyjamas, Casino's Bev Leadbeatter joined a queue down the middle of Walker Street to get her free sausage sandwich and cup of milk at the Beef Industry Breakfast.

"My two kids woke up early and said 'Let's go to Beef Week now' and I didn't have time to get changed," Ms Leadbeatter said.

Around a thousand early risers were lured to the closed-off main street by the smell of sizzling rissoles and the sound of local bands playing country tunes from the back of a semi-trailer.

The chance to win cow pat lotto and slide down an inflatable sinking Titanic also proved too enticing to miss despite the wet and overcast morning.

A sea of volunteers - which included the cow print waist-coast wearing pair of Casino Mayor Charlie Cox and Federal Member Janelle Saffin - served breakfast.

Once the masses were fed, attention turned to a small pen behind the stage where four bemused and bloated jersey cows were waiting to play their crucial part in determining the 2008 cow milking champion of Casino Beek Week.

The victor - squeezing 700mls in two minutes - was Casino resident Colleen Knight. Mrs Knight was presented with the champion's purple satin cape and said the secret to her success was a combination of strong hands, experience, good rhythm and a cow with good teats.

Scattered among the breakfast crowd were a few creative souls who had used the theme of Casino Beef Week - the letters B and W - to inspire their outfits.

Seven-year-old Amanda Huxley  created and became superhero Bright Women (BW) 30 minutes before the breakfast began.

Complete with light bulb in her hair, she always arrives 'in a flash'.

The sponsorship from Country Energy won't be gone in a flash however, following an announcement at the official Festival Opening on Thursday night by managing director Craig Murray that the company would commit to being the naming sponsor of the festival for the next three years.

Mr Murray said after experiencing the depth of community feeling for Beef Week and 'a few glasses of wine' it seemed like the best thing to do.


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