ANIMAL PRIDE: Roland Schwertner, of Alstonville, shows off an alpaca as part of the Australia Alpaca Association display at the North Coast National in Lismore.
ANIMAL PRIDE: Roland Schwertner, of Alstonville, shows off an alpaca as part of the Australia Alpaca Association display at the North Coast National in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

North Coast National targets younger crowd

NUMBERS for this year's North Coast National show were up on last year's with a focus on free entertainment for kids helping to bolster ticket sales.

Show president John Gibson said he thought it was one of the better shows they've had for many years.

"One of the big things we've done this year is put a lot more free entertainment on for children and I think that's been a very big success," he said.

The weather was mostly sunny and warm, with a spattering of rain overnight helping to settle the dust.

The theme for this year was Celebrating Country Life.

It was the first year alpacas from the Australian Alpaca Association were paraded around the main arena for the North Coast National Grand Parade.

Reece McIntyre and Jackson Robinson, both of Lismore, promote the Dairy Spectacular at the North Coast National at the Lismore Showground.
Reece McIntyre and Jackson Robinson, both of Lismore, promote the Dairy Spectacular at the North Coast National at the Lismore Showground. Marc Stapelberg

Roland Schwertner, from Erwin Alpacas in Alstonville, said it was a great platform to showcase alpaca products, such as scarves, hats, socks and shawls.

"Alpaca wool is very warm," he said. "You would have to knit sheep wool a lot thicker to get the same warmth."

Mr Schwertner said the show was also a good opportunity for the public to interact with the animals that are regulars at local school fetes, retirement villages and festivals.

As always, a big highlight for the younger crowds were show bags.

Courtney Hill, who works at her family' show bag stall, said the Peppa Pig show bags were the most popular with the girls, while the Ninja Turtle show bags were favoured among the boys.

Prices for show bags range from a $4 Bertie the Beatle show bag to about $30 for a Peppa Pig showbag.

For Lismore horse rider Lilly Munce, 9, the highlight of the show was taking to the arena on her stockhorse pony Jill.

By 11.30am, the young local rider had already taken out two second places against competitors from across the country.

Lilly said she first jumped into the saddle at 4-years-old and has been coming to the North Coast National show for at least five years.

She said competing in the horse riding was her favourite part of the show because "you just get to meet new people all the time."

Mackenzie Murphy, 6, Natahlia Murphy, 15, and Cohen Dietrich, 3, all of Casino, celebrate their take in the showbags.
Mackenzie Murphy, 6, Natahlia Murphy, 15, and Cohen Dietrich, 3, all of Casino, celebrate their take in the showbags.


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