President tips big success for small bustling Dululu show
STEWART Jones is perched on a hay bale, surveying the bustling Ridgelands Showgrounds.
Noble horses stride the ring, prime cattle stand to attention for judging, patrons wander through the pavilions, marvelling at the handmade creations and beautiful birds.
Carefree kids play with the goodies from their showbags and adults relax in an era reminiscent of show days past.
Mr Jones opens our conversation with the confident prediction that the 32nd Ridgelands Show is "the biggest by far".
This is his second year as president of the Ridgelands and District Sporting and Agricultural Association, which runs the show. It's his 32nd year as chief steward of the beef cattle.
"Looking around today, this would be the biggest show we've ever had as far as entries and public attendance goes," Mr Jones said at the event on Saturday.
"In the stud beef we normally have 60 head, we've got 93 today. For the cutting, they've had to get double the number of cattle they normally would."
Mr Jones said that entries were up in every section, bar heavy horses, and there were more market stalls and trade displays than ever before.
He expected the attendance would eclipse last year's turnout of 1500.
"People just like the smaller country shows," he said, when asked to explain the ongoing success of the event. "There is a bit of everything here for them."