Our show 'one of the best around'
RINGMASTER at the Murwillumbah Show Peter McDonald reckons the annual event is not only one of the top country shows in Australia but takes place on by far the best showground.
As ringside sound-equipment teams yesterday prepared for today's events and sideshow alley operators set up rides and other entertainment, it was impossible to argue.
The grass of the main ring could not have been greener, thanks to recent rain, and was set against the picturesque backdrop of the blue-grey mountains of the Border Ranges.
"In country Australia you wouldn't get a better showground," said Mr McDonald, who this year finds himself in his fifth stint as ringmaster.
"The whole facility has been really well maintained by a great working committee. At most country shows everything is falling down, but here the infrastructure is good and the ground itself always looks picturesque," he said.
"The ring looks great with the recent rain and all the indications are we will have good numbers in the horse sections. The show- jumping program is an extremely good one, with $20,000 up for grabs."
Mr McDonald has taken time off from his job with one of the major show sponsors, Southern Cross Credit Union, to instead work long hours both today and tomorrow to ensure the ring program - "set in concrete months ago"- runs to plan.
He can remember coming to the show since his childhood and later as a competitor. His father, a dairy farmer, and his grandad were both heavily involved with the show.
This year more horsepower than ever before will be on show in the main ring - and Mr McDonald is hoping rain wanted by farmers will hold off until Sunday.
Five beaut utes from the Holden Stormriders driving team are set to make their debut at the Murwillumbah Show in a town which, with its banana-growing background, has for decades favoured Toyota traybacks.
The gates are due to open along with the start of ring events today at 7.30am and tomorrow from 8am staying open till around 9pm both nights after fireworks.
Tonight will also feature a rodeo which is expected to pack in the crowds.