Bumper entries greet judges at 2014 show

FINEST FLEECE: Alpaca fleece judge Andrew Munn is one of many to judge some of Bathurst’s finest produce at this year’s Royal Bathurst Show. Photo: PHILL MURRAY 042914pshow3-GALLERY: Get ready for the Royal Bathurst Show
Nanjing Night Net

FINAL judging is underway and this year’s Royal Bathurst Show is set to be a crowd pleaser, according to organisers.

Gates open to the annual three-day show tomorrow, with first-time alpaca fleece judge Andrew Munn among a range of experts brought in for competition.

The fleece specialist from Yass said he prefers alpaca wool for a number of reasons.

“Each have their own good and bad points, but I think alpaca is softer and warmer,” he said.

This has been a bumper year for entries in many categories, according to Bathurst Agricultural, Horticultural and Pastoral (AH&P) Association executive secretary Brett Kenworthy.

“Horse section closed early and it’s up, showgirl was up and it looks like the pavilion section is up,” he said.

Mr Kenworthy said this year’s show dates do not clash with any nearby shows, and he expects this will boost visitor numbers.

“We’ve got some fantastic rides and people will see the benefit of not clashing with the Hawkesbury Show,” he said.

Saturday afternoon’s Young Farmers Challenge will be hotly contested and Mr Kenworthy expects it to be a favourite with showgoers.

“You’ll watch teams in a number of challenges … anything from erecting some electric fencing to moving some bales of hay,” he said.

A show highlight will be Saturday’s grand parade, due to take place at 12.45pm in the main arena.

“We’ve got a good run of cattle coming in despite the drought,” he said.

“[But] the drought in December and January has had a big impact on showing animals.”

Fireworks will light up the sky from the showground’s main arena at 8.30pm tomorrow night and again on Saturday night.

“We’ve kept everything that everyone likes, we’re just tweaking it a little bit,” Mr Kenworthy said.

Community groups will also feature in this year’s show, with information available from a wide range of local groups.

Parking arrangements will differ a little this year, according to treasurer Matt Irvine.

“There’s reduced space in Morse Park due to construction of a new playing field, but the Bathurst sportsground will be open,” he said.

A safety fence has also been constructed along the Great Western Highway, opposite the showground, to encourage people to use designated pedestrian crossings.

“It’s safety so people aren’t darting across the road,” Mr Irvine said.

Gates are open from 9am to 10pm tomorrow and Saturday, and from 9am to 4pm on Sunday.

Entry is $22 adults, $11 children and $16.50 concession. Families of four are $44 and of five are $55.

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