Showgirl reveals desire to highlight industry
FOR Maddie Gray, being named this year's Alstonville Showgirl presents an opportunity to promote and encourage more young people to get involved in agriculture.
"I'm really proud, it's been an amazing experience," she said.
"I'd love to see the showgirls be more out in the community and participating in more community events, really promoting the show and young people in agriculture."
Ms Gray's passion for agriculture can be best summed up by her love for horses.
"I'm absolutely passionate about my horses," she said.
"I've been riding for 13 years now. I have two horses, Archie and Star, I ride them and compete with them.
"Horses are pretty much my life, I adore them."
Before the winners and finalists were announced at the official opening of this year's show on Saturday, last year's Showgirl winner Alyson Elliott spoke about the benefits of being involved in the competition.
"I've have gained so much from this competition," she said.
"Friendships, self-confidence and a great passion for our agricultural community of Alstonville."
All entrants were judged on personality, confidence, ambitions and life goals as well as general knowledge, rural knowledge, presentation and speech.
The judging process began with a 20-minute interview during which entrants were asked questions about their local community, ambitions and rural involvement.
The last section of judging involved a dinner where the girls were interviewed on stage.
All the judging occurred well before the winners and finalists were announced at the official opening of the show.
The Showgirl competition is open to Ballina Shire girls aged 18-24 while the Miss Showgirl competition is open to girls aged 12-17.
Both Ms Gray and the winner of the junior Miss Alstonville showgirl category, Chelsea Law, will now compete in the zone finals in Yamba for the opportunity to be involved in the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
The Miss Showgirl runner-up was Joanne Hunter and the Showgirl runner-up was Bethany Lock.