Kids on show at Kyogle Show
CHILDREN didn't just go to the Kyogle Show on the weekend: they WERE the show.
Strolling through Sideshow Alley, ever so popular in city shows, there was not a tantrum in sight over showbags and one young girl had the jumping castle all to herself at lunch time on Saturday.
Country children, it seemed, were far too busy participating in the Kyogle Show main events to cry over a dropped dagwood dog.
From the "tiny tots" competing in the Junior Miss Kyogle Showgirl contest to boys under 16 demonstrating their wood chopping skills under adult supervision to children of all age leading their prize cattle in the afternoon show parade, future generations showed their knowledge and pride in country show traditions.
Dominic Anderson, 14, said he was "nervous" when he participated in his "first chop" on Saturday but was "pretty happy" when he came first, even though he was too young to qualify for prizes.
He'd been watching family friend and Handicapper of the North Coast Axeman's Association, James Livingstone, a third-generation wood chopper in action for a couple of months but roles reversed when Mr Livingstone supervised Dominic in public.
Family affairs were a show theme with many children paying tribute to their elders for skills handed down through generations.
Oscar Plunkett-Phelps, 11, said he learned his love of horse riding from his aunt.
Oscar and his horse, Didgeridoo, 16, competed in the Stock Horse Hacks and Challenge event.
"You've got to sit up straight, put your heels down, make sure the head is positioned correctly and then 'cut one out'" he said, describing the way his horse could be used to herd cattle.
He said he'd been thrown off his horse a few times but his aunt had told him "you've gotta be thrown 15 times to be a true rider".
Mother and daughter duo Leanne and Liana Bordin said they had each competed in horse events since they were eight.
They spent about 12 months re-educating ex-race horses for basic show "hacking", where the horses would walk, trot and canter in different directions.
Robert Brooker and his draft horses Abby and Cyril won ribbons for dragging a modified "agricultural implement" around the show ring, a trick that took about four years to perfect.
Mr Brooker said he'd been working with horses "all me life" and his "dad used to do it" too; he was now teaching his 12-year-old son, Mason, the same.