Ekka champion: Meet the Rocky girl who's dream came true
FROM the poultry pens at The Caves Agricultural Show to The Royal Queensland Show (Ekka), Shikira Stehbens has shown her true potential.
Today her 12 birds will travel back to Central Queensland after The Cathedral College senior student won eight prizes at this year's Ekka.
Last Wednesday, Shikira brought a variety of breeds such as standard Langshan hens, Japanese bantams, two Rhode Island Red Bantams, an the hard-feathered Old English Game Bird down to the state's capital before she was judged the following day.
With her proud grandfather Mel Slade by her side, she was awarded one champion, four first prizes, three second prizes and one third prize.
Shikira arrived with her grandfather on Wednesday, and helped her pen the poultry before she returned home from her successful venture on Saturday.
Since April, Shikira has competed in a variety of events which ranged from The Caves Agricultural Show where took out "Bird of Show”, Ridgelands Show, Mount Morgan Show, Rockhampton Show, and was awarded the Australorp Club of Australia's "Bird of Show”.
"I've always enjoyed having my poultry at home, but I hadn't got into showing until four years back,” she said.
While these events have helped shape her, they couldn't match the magnitude of being up against 1700 birds which were shown at the state's most famous show.
"It's exciting, and I'm extremely happy with my placings, I went down not expecting to place anywhere,” she said.
"It's an amazing, big show and it's great to meet different people with the same hobby, different varieties of chickens and getting to know breeds.”
Shikira described the process involved to prepare her poultry for judging.
"I had to wash mine a week before to make sure they had all of their feathers back into the conditions they wanted them to be in,” she said.
She's taken the opportunity to showcase her other hobbies.
Shikira enjoys horse riding and dancing, but it's her cooking, needlework and sewing which has been exhibited.
She has submitted cooking entries to The Caves Show, and has considered doing the same for the Rockhampton Show next year.