2016 Sydney Royal Easter Show

At the opening ceremony of the 2016 Sydney Royal Easter Show His Excellency General, The Honourable David Hurley, made a speech not only as Governor of NSW or as Patron of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS), but also as a first-time competitor. The bees from the Government House hives, you see, had produced honey, having enjoyed plentiful pollen within the nearby Botanic Gardens. The Governor was thrilled to earn a place in the top ten.

It was a wonderful moment, reminding those present that the Sydney Royal Easter Show really is for everybody – young or old, male or female, urban or rural, prince or pauper. It is an event that is about all of Australia, a coming together of country and city. This year’s Show was a shining example of everything that makes our nation unique.

Over 750,000 people made tracks to Sydney Showground. Special guests included the aforementioned Governor of NSW, as well as performers Troy Cassar-Daley, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. Nicole purchased a RASF Ag Bag and generously told the star-struck staff member to “keep the change”, knowing the money would go to the Foundation’s scholarships and grants program.

Other very special guests included 14,000 animals. More than 1,200 chicks were hatched during the Show, and Baby Puppies were featured for the very first time in the Purina Pro-Plan Sydney Royal Dog Show. The Best Baby Puppy in Show winner was a Labrador from Glenorie, NSW. But the big gong, Best in Show, went to a Lhasa Apso from Ovingham in South Australia. Perhaps most amazingly, Steve Hayward and Kelly Smith from Allora in Queensland won both the Urquhart and Hordern trophies with an Angus cow.

In the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome, Hurlstone Agricultural High School took out the Schools District Exhibits Display Competition for the second year and Northern NSW District Exhibit, for the third time running, won the District Exhibits Perpetual Shield.

Around 19,500 Sydney Royal awards were proudly presented for excellence in produce. The Channel 9 Woodchop Stadium saw frantic levels of action and energy as power and precision came together with explosive results. And in the somewhat calmer environment of the Food Farm 70,000 Junior Farm Hands Passports were stamped.

It’s not a Sydney Royal Easter Show without food, and Showgoers were not disappointed. The Petey Pie Bakery, for instance, used two tonnes of flour, 1.5 tonnes of meat and 300 kilograms of cheese to produce over 6,000 of its unique, hybrid cheese burger pies. Over 400 Country Women’s Association members volunteered to prepare, bake and sell 3,500 scones every day. Four tonnes of gelato satisfied those with a sweet tooth. Also consumed with glee were 20,000 Dagwood dogs, 30,000 servings of cheese on a stick and 30,000 cups of fresh lemonade.

Evenings saw revellers blown away by the spectacular production of The Man From Snowy River, a performance so powerful that many audience members were brought to tears. The Colours Of The Outback pyrotechnic display lit up the night and Troy Cassar-Daley’s performances wowed the crowd.

“It was an epic adventure to play at the Sydney Royal Easter Show this year. The event is run so well and I was treated like family,” Cassar-Daley says. “The roar from the stadium each night was incredible. The pride that the country people I met at the show take, in where they are from and what they do, is wonderful to witness.”

“I was moved by the kids I met. They had outstanding manners, care so much for all around them and take incredible pride in everything they do. It was great to see those qualities in the next generation. We are in good hands!”

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