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On The Land

18 July, 2023

Event showcases

STRONG exhibitor participation and attendance numbers made this year’s Atherton Show an outstanding success.


Atherton State High School goat show team members with judge Cicelia Riddler. (from left) Shelby Hamilton, Yana Butler, Bella Poulos, Elke Edwards, Caitlin Channells, Madeleine Scrivens, Leah Withers with twin goats Yin (left) and Yang (right) which are opposite in colour to each other.
Atherton State High School goat show team members with judge Cicelia Riddler. (from left) Shelby Hamilton, Yana Butler, Bella Poulos, Elke Edwards, Caitlin Channells, Madeleine Scrivens, Leah Withers with twin goats Yin (left) and Yang (right) which are opposite in colour to each other.

Atherton Tableland Agricultural Society president Alan Dowling said this year’s Atherton Show was one of the best shows to date with great entry numbers across all sections.

“The showcasing of the Tablelands’ agriculture and talent was evident throughout,” he said.

“Along with our poultry pavilion, our main pavilion was impressive with the variety of agriculture, floriculture, and the creativity on display.

“The stud beef numbers at this year’s show were well and truly up on recent years.

“The students from our local secondary schools made their teachers and families proud in how they presented themselves with their cattle.

“Our next generation is looking good. Atherton, Malanda and Ravenshoe High had great entries across a number of sections.

“The effort made for the fancy dress with the goats from Atherton High deserves a special mention.

“I was particularly delighted with the number of competitors we had in our horse events and their friendly cooperation and respectful competition.”

Never failing to delight, this year’s goat section was no exception with four different breeds including miniature breeds, being exhibited by the Atherton State High School (ASHS).

Breeds in this year’s school show team included Saanen, Nigerian dwarf, some Nigerian dwarf cross animals, Australian Miniatures and Boer goats.

ASHS agriculture teacher Tracey Fitzgerald said the school commenced showing goats in 2006 after it established its goat club.

“It is a great way to introduce students, particularly younger ones, to livestock,” she said.

“This year there were 17 students in the school goat show team.”

ASHS student Bella Poulos said this was her first show exhibiting goats for the school.

“It is fun to show goats for the school,” she said.

“They are really great animals to work with.”

Stud Beef co-chief steward Louise Garard said that Tropical, European and British breeds as well as the ever-popular small breeds were out in full force for the Stud Beef judging of the2023 Atherton Show.

“A major highlight for all the stewards was to see the cattle sheds full again, we couldn't remember the last time we had seen the shed so full and it was great to see all the extra hard work we put in this year had paid off.

Kellie Williams continued her winning streak after being awarded top honours, taking out both Supreme Champion Stud Beef Bull Overall with Kel-lee A Boxer and Supreme Champion Stud Beef Female Overall with Kel-lee A Dolly.

Judge Paul Laycock from  High Country Droughtmasters in Esk, Southern Queensland said this year’s Supreme Champion Stud Beef Bull  Overall had all the right attributes and had  great character, as well as great length and depth throughout the flank.

“He met every criteria for the industry and will be a great sire,” Mr Laycock said.

“All the cattle that I judged here today had a real commercial industry relevance.

“I was very pleased to see that over a wide spectrum of breeds.

“The enthusiasm of exhibitors and students need to be commended.”

Champion Led Steer was Maple Downs T-Bone shown by the Kidd Family from Maple Downs Murray Greys with Champion Led Heifer being Sarsaparilla shown by Darcy Small.

Champion Junior Beef Parader was Sascha Micola with the Junior Encouragement Award going to Brianna Penellum.

The overall winners of the Young Beef Judges competition were Jack Zappala and Darcy Small, with Darcy going on to represent the Atherton Show at Tully Sub Chamber Finals.

Atherton Tableland Poultry Club member Trenton Stonehouse said this year’s show entries filled the poultry pavilion to full capacity.

“Some breeders could not show this year but it was still ‘full house’ in the poultry pavilion with over 400 birds exhibited,” Mr Stonehouse said.

“Some exhibitors came as far away as from Richmond.

“There were a handful of rare breeds that are now starting to become more popular at the Atherton Show.”

This year saw over 30 breeds exhibited with keen interest being shown by Juniors.

This year’s judge was Noel James from Kingaroy

“A highlight of this year’s poultry judging was that the judge gifted his judging stick to the champion junior exhibitor to acknowledge that he was doing a great job in the breeding, preparation and showing of his birds,” he said.

The Grand Champion Bird of the 2023 Atherton Show was a Bantam Old English Game Wheaten cock exhibited by the Stonehouse family.

Competitors travelled from as far south as Townville and even further to compete in the equestrian events at the Atherton Show.

Horse chief Steward Julie Shuttleworth said overall there were good numbers across the jumping and the horse ring events with the majority of the riders coming from the local Far North area. 

“In the horse ring our Led or Halter classes attracted great interest and were followed by rider classes. Monday concluded with sporting events,” Ms Shuttleworth said. 

“Tuesday saw the Hack program start with ponies then galloways followed by the larger hacks.

“The jump ring started with a junior 80cm jump and one of the highlights of this year’s equestrian events was the junior and senior 6 bar jump off on the Monday night.

“This has always provided spectators with a good show of local jumping. 

“Tuesday saw our championship jumps culminating in the Queensland Rural Pty Ltd Championship which allows riders to collect jump points over four shows - Innisfail, Atherton, Malanda and Cairns

“This event was spectacular to watch and was well supported by our jumpers.”

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