Rain a plus for visitors

Bob Garnant, Ann Rawlings and Cally DupeCountryman
Wagin Woolorama president Howie Ward.
Camera IconWagin Woolorama president Howie Ward. Credit: Cally Dupe

Come rain or shine, Wagin Woolorama is well known for bringing out the best in agriculture — and this year was no different.

The 47th event, and 116th Wagin Agricultural Show, proudly featured the best stud stock in Merinos, meat sheep and cattle, as well as perfect poultry, skilful shearing, an impressive show of sheepdog prowess and horses galore.

While the final tally of visitors through the gate remained unknown as of Tuesday, it was thought that numbers were slightly down from last year’s count of about 25,000.

But no matter the figure, Woolorama president Howie Ward said he was proud to be involved in such a positive event.

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“The weather wasn’t perfect but so many people came and the comments from stallholders and exhibitors were very positive,” he said.

Mr Ward, in his first year as president and with 15 years of Woolorama experience under his belt, said Friday proved to be the most popular day for visitors.

He said numbers were down Saturday morning because of rain, but Woolorama’s popular rodeo had helped to bolster attendance on the final day.

It was a sentiment echoed by Wagin Shire president Phil Blight.

“It was a bit wet all the while, but I spoke to stallholders on the last day and they all said it had been fantastic,” he said.

“The fact that it has been so dry for so long, I don’t think there would be anyone who would have said (the rain) wasn’t great.”

This year’s focus on youth, vitality and innovation in regional WA aimed to bring a fresh perspective to one of the biggest agricultural events in the State.

The theme flavoured the event’s fashion parades and displays, including exhibits of agricultural machinery, products and services.

Woolorama even paid tribute to the role of media in agriculture, with Landline producer Sean Murphy officially opening proceedings during a special event on Thursday night.

But fame and fashion aside, the results in the ring often draw the most attention.

The Wool Pavilion this year logged a total of 130 Merino fleeces from some of WA’s finest producers, with the Rintoul family, of Williams, taking home the grand champion sash for their Tilba Tilba fine-wool entry.

In the Merino judging, the Campbell family, of Gairdner stud Coromandel, were proud to accept their first supreme title at Woolorama for their four-tooth medium-wool Poll Merino ram.

Meanwhile, a Poll Dorset ewe from Kendenup-based stud Brimfield reigned supreme in the British and Australasian breeds competition, securing a place on this year’s leader board for stud owners Max Whyte and Gail Cremasco.

In the cattle section, which boasted 175 entrants this year, Southend stud principal Kurt Wise, of Katanning, secured his first supreme sash with a one-year-old Murray Grey bull.

Back to wool, and top shearers Luke Harding and Damien Boyle went neck-to-neck in the Clean Shear, while wool handling prowess was in the capable hands of Aroha Garvin and Jessica Harding.

Closing the event, the action-packed UniGrain Wagin Woolorama rodeo drew entrants from far and wide, and a crowd more than happy to cheer on their thrill-seeking demonstrations.

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