Kathy DeJong (left) with Graeme Patison.
Kathy DeJong (left) with Graeme Patison.

Rides don't turn up, but Casino Show goes on

THE CASINO Show was stripped back to its original rural purity on Saturday after the amusement rides provider did not turn up as promised.

While disappointed families were provided refunds for their all-in-one ride pass, the no-show didn't appear to sour the community event too much.

Local entertainer Brenda Armfield said while "people were very disappointed", including children with tears in their eyes, "certainly the fun's still here".

Secretary of the show society Russell Hayes said organisers had received "nothing but positive comments" since announcing the unfortunate situation on Facebook.

With the rides amiss, a healthy crowd of showgoers instead embraced all the core elements - cows, horses, dogs, and chooks, among other country treats.

"Casino is well known for its stud cattle and this year is no exception," Mr Hayes said.

As Richmond Valley mayor Ernie Bennett declared in light of the quality of stock on display: "We know we're the beef capital."

"How can Rockhampton claim to be the beef capital when they can't produce cattle that we saw walking around this ring here," Cr Bennett said in his speech.

Even the youngsters were getting into the cattle show with brother and sister team Troy and Kate Hepburn, 12 and 8, leading furry miniature belted galloway, Jade.

Lilly Munce, 9, and her cousin Matilda, 8, also weren't particularly fazed by the lack of rides.

In fact, they were more than happy with their prizemoney earnt on the back of their favourite horses in the pony and galloway classes.

"I had to do a lot of practice," said Lilly, who started riding at four.

Lilly earnt a championship, plus two firsts and a second, while Matilda won with her stockhorse Cam in the galloway class.

This year, the stockhorses put on one of their best showings yet with up to 40 entrants, according to Graeme Patison, president of the Far North Coast Stockhorse Society.

In fact, one competitor Kathy De Jong, had come all the way from the Tamworth area to join in the fun.

"I think there's a lot of history in this showground and a lot of good old stockmen," she said.

"It's a wonderful history."

Meanwhile, Casino Showgirl entrants Ebony Nowlan, Clare Newby, and Alice Magner faced off for the coveted title.

For these girls, being a showgirl was all about "breaking stereotypes" by promoting the different aspects of rural life and relishing in the country community spirit."

"You can go out and show cattle, but you can also get dressed up," Alice said, who was ultimately crowned the winner.

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