Enjoying the day at Bangalow Show
A QUICK costume change from riding helmet to pretty sun hat was all part of the fun for Myocum's Ella Cathcart-van Weeren on Saturday when she was crowned Bangalow Showgirl 2011.
Ms Cathcart-van Weeren rushed from competing in the barrel race to receiving her winning sash at the Jarrett Arena on Saturday afternoon.
"I didn't even find out what place I came in the barrel race," she laughed.
The 19-year-old assistant horse-riding instructor moved from Melbourne to the region six years ago.
The former Shearwater Steiner student plans to study communications at university next year.
For now, however, she has found her calling in rural life.
"I'm mad about horses," Ms Cathcart-van Weeren said.
"And I love being a part of a rural community.
"I was asked to enter the showgirl competition to fill the numbers out, but once I started I threw myself into it," she said.
"It's been great to be volunteering here at the show.
Show president, Michael O'Meara said this year's show had been a success with fantastic weather and crowd numbers up.
"Beef and dairy cattle numbers were up and so were show jumping," Mr O'Meara said
"In one showjumping event we had 40 entrants, that's the biggest ever," he said.
Also benefiting from a successful turn-out this year were local businesses, Mr O'Meara said.
"Bangalow businesses have been doing it tough this year, everyone has, so this is our way to give back to the community," he said.
Adding to the festivities this year was the inaugural Sculpture in the Paddock exhibition in which local sculptors were teamed with local farmers to find artistic inspiration and represent the local community in a different way.
Inviting artists to participate in the show had been an "unbelievable success," Mr O'Meara said.
"Their thought processes are so different from farmers," he said.
One "artist we worked with took a weed (camphor laurel) and turned it into art.
"We held the sculpture event because of the influence of people in Bangalow from non-rural backgrounds.
"We like to involve the whole community, and this area has so many creative people."