Monto's 87th Show
A PACKED showground greeted patrons of the 87th Monto Show recently with numbers swelling over the two-day event.
The 2017 show was jam-packed full of fun for the whole family with Rooftop Express entertaining the crowd on Saturday evening with Monto Show Society president Amanda Goody impressed by the turnout.
“We usually hold a rodeo on the Saturday night but we clashed dates with a southern rodeo so we decided to have the Rooftop Express instead in the main arena at night.
“We had huge numbers through the gate on the Saturday which saw a full house head along to the evening entertainment which got everyone into the spirit of the weekend,” Amanda said.
The Australiana comedy show, which features renowned horseman David Manchon, wowed the crowd with jaw-dropping stunts and comedy acts.
“It’s something very different for Monto and everyone loved it; it was a very family orientated night.”
Amanda said she was amazed by the turn-out after continued dry weather in the region forced the Society to replace the annual campdraft with a dry work challenge.
“The change was very well received by both competitors and the crowd with Monto local Molly Blighton taking home first place in the Novice event and Ben Weller awarded first place in the Open,” Amanda said.
There were solid entries for most of the weekend events including the horse program which was condensed into a one-day affair.
“The shift gained a lot of positive comments with the three-quarter day campdraft attracting around 250 riders. It allowed a lot more locals to join in the fun.”
Over in the pavilion - entrants for the cooking and craft competitions were up with a number of kid’s competitions added to the line-up.
Amanda said the focus for Monto Show Society is to encourage interaction with the show for children of all ages.
“They are our future and we want to be able to encourage them to continue coming to the show and entering into these types of competitions so they get something back by being involved -even if it’s a small prize.”
There was also a range of unique sideshow entertainment for the whole family to enjoy including Luke’s Reptile Kingdom and Old Macdonald’s Farm.
“The animal exhibits are always a huge hit with the kids and they are able to go along and feed and pat the farm animals,” Amanda said.
“We also had local Tyrone O’Reilly come along and host demonstrations with his students from The Monto Circus and Festival Performers Youth Group and the MICE Band who played for nearly two hours for the crowd.”
Amanda said the local show is not only a place for homegrown competition, but provides a platform for local groups to showcase their talents.
“It gives them an opportunity to show everybody what they learning and get new people from around the area involved.”
Not all competition was confined to the pavilion as, for the first time this year, the Monto Show Society welcomed the Young Farmers Challenge.
Around 24 people, spread across six groups of four, took on the inaugural competition with $550 in prize money supplied by Monto Rural Traders up for grabs.
The winners - a local group of woodchoppers - will go on to compete at the regional competition and, if successful, will head to the Royal Queensland Show for the finals in August.
The stud and prime cattle events also attracted solid competition with the show playing host to the Brahman Feature Show.
Judged by Brett Nobbs, NCC Brahmans, Duaringa, the event featured 110 Brahmans and was proudly opened by president of the Australian Brahman Breeders’ Association Matthew McCamley.
Mr McCamley said the event was a great spectacle of cattle.
“It was well supported from both the local community to people from all over Central Queensland and down through to Southern Queensland with people travelling to Monto to show their Brahman cattle.”
Mr McCamley said the people and the facilities were second to none.
“The hospitality was exceptional and I always find Monto to be a good country show.
“Rural shows like Monto are far more personal than the bigger shows and you often have three or more generations who have family ties to the show which makes the event personable.”
Top gongs were awarded to Grand Champion Bull Raglan Mr Mason, exhibited by the Olive Family, Raglan Brahmans, Raglan, with the Grand champion female awarded to HH Park Miss Charlotte with calf at foot, exhibited by Julie Hurrell, HH Park Brahmans, Gympie.
Mr McCamley said there was a strong showing of Brahman cattle at that show on the day and he was proud to see such solid support for the breed.
The Led Steer and Young Judges events held special significance for the younger generation with Monto State High School taking home the top award for Champion Led Steer.
Agricultural Studies teacher and State Runner-up for Rural Ambassador Toby Worley has been working with 30 Monto students in preparation for the 2017 event and said he is extremely proud of what they have achieved at the show.
“A lot of the children we have involved in the Cattle Club don’t have a rural background and it’s great to see how excited they are to learn,” Toby said.
“Some of them do have on-farm experience but they’re all very keen to learn about the cattle industry and what to look for in good animals and they get to wash and prepare the steers before the show.
“We had an excellent results in the stud and prime beef young judges competitions - winning Champion Led Steer against 25 other entries.
“I’m trying to promote the future and engage the youth in the future of the show movement and heading along to these competitions is really important for them to increase their knowledge and meet some new friends along the way.”
The prime competition saw well-known Monto Santa Gertrudis breeder Irene Bishop, Wandora, Monto, awarded with Grand Champion beast of show before accepting a memorial trophy in honour of her late husband and former Monto Show president, Graham Bishop.
Supporters of the 2017 festivities have already thrown their hats into the ring for the 2018 event which promises to be bigger and better than ever.
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Story:- Kate Stark
Images: Sarah Coulton