Pigs fly at the show
THE first day of the North Coast National was off to a racing start.
Pig racing, that is.
Yesterday was the first day that Kevin Kiley and his thoroughbred racing pigs wowed crowds at the Lismore Showgrounds.
He was just one of many showmen who had travelled from far and wide to bring the ultimate show experience to Lismore.
"We travel all around the country to pubs and other venues, but I always like to come to the shows where kids and families can see us race," Mr Kiley said.
The jockey and his pigs Kevin Runt, Spamily Hamerson and Stinkabell, who were all wearing sparking vests, had travelled all the way from Warwick in Queensland to race at the show.
"I call myself the pig whisperer," Mr Kiley said as he rounded up the pigs and got them ready to take their mark.
"They're crowd-activated pigs," he continued with a serious tone.
"At the end of the day, it's about being in the spotlight - that's what they like."
Mr Kiley might have been right about the pigs loving attention, but they also seemed quite taken by the big bowl of milk which was conveniently located at the finish line.
However, Mr Kiley was just one of the exhibitors that tickled the fancy of animal lovers yesterday.
Steve Schink and his old Macdonald's Travelling Farms were also drawing patrons in who wanted to get up close and personal with the baby animals.
The poultry competition's popularity also showed no sign of slowing down this year with more than 500 exhibits in the poultry section of the North Coast National.
Lismore Poultry Club spokesman John Kendall said the quality of the birds entered was better than the judges had expected after the weeks of hot weather Northern Rivers residents had experienced.
The North Coast National will be on for the next two days with plenty of other attractions including Sideshow Alley and displays in the craft pavilion from the region's local artists, cooks and gardeners.