THE Wimmera show season is coming to a close and on behalf of the Horsham Agricultural Society, I would like to thank our generous sponsors, the competitors, exhibitors, stallholders, stewards and patrons who supported the Horsham Show this year.
In the lead up to the show, the continuous rain had the showgrounds filling with water.
The promise of organising a sheep drying and wool styling competition on the roof of Maydale Pavilion came close to becoming a reality. The phone calls from horse competitors in the weeks prior were constant.
‘Will there still be a show? Will it be too wet to camp? Will we get bogged?’ were just some of the questions we fielded.
We were so grateful the heavy rain fell the nights before and after the show, followed by a final dumping just hours after the two-day horse show finished. The Horsham Show was one of the lucky ones.
Many shows throughout New South Wales and Victoria were cancelled due to the heavy rainfall. Several Wimmera shows had to cancel or postpone their horse events for safety reasons.
The financial loss these shows will have to bear has a significant impact on their future.
But it’s not just the financial loss.
There is a huge emotional cost the wider community doesn’t see. I witnessed firsthand the raw emotion of a show president when opening their show recently.
I know she was not alone in making the tough call to cancel their horse section but to make the decision on a fine, sunny day four days prior with only the forecast of rain, was a very brave one.
The rain fell as predicted, washing much of the volunteers’ hard work away.
History demonstrates that agricultural shows are, for most, the one event in our small towns and cities that continue through adversity.
We are resilient and we adapt to change as necessary.
However, some hows do fold under the pressure and the tradition is lost.
For the majority, we live in hope that next year will be better.
Now the show is over, the Horsham Agricultural Society is planning to celebrate its 140th birthday.
As we go from strength to strength, we’ve seen the first female president in Jo Lane and our youngest ever president, Dalton Cross, at 22 years old.
Our leadership team has an average age of 25, with approximately 40 members ranging in age from 15 to 85.
As the majority of our members are farmers, our birthday celebrations will eventuate after the harvest.
The community is invited to share this belated celebration in February, if the rain stops long enough for us to spruce up the grounds.
In the meantime, consider which competitions you’d like to support at the 2017 Horsham Show.
Secretary, Horsham Agricultural Society
Watch out for walkers
MOST of us drive to get around, but every trip involves a walk. For older people, walking may be their main form of transport. Victoria Walks is appealing to all drivers and riders to take greater care and watch out for elderly walkers in particular.
We ask drivers to go slowly in and out of driveways so they can give way to people on the footpath.
And please give way to people crossing the road when you are turning. It’s not only the considerate thing to do, it is a legal requirement.
Dr BEN ROSSITER
AN article in the Monday, October 17 edition of the Mail-Times incorrectly named the Gariwerd Hotel as the winner of the Wimmera Business Awards services award.
The winner of the services award was Laser Electrical Horsham.
The Mail-Times apologises for the error.