Sydney Royal Easter Show

by Petra Bucheli

Friday 13th April, 2012

From the many options on how to get to the show ground we chose the ferry. Passing the opera house and below Harbour Bridge we went Homebush Bay. From here we made a hike to the Olympia Park. We wondered what was awaiting us then I imagined that this will be an Australian version of the OLMA (Swiss exhibition for agriculture and nutrition). Somehow I was right and somehow not. The Easter Show is quite a bit bigger than the OLMA. First we came to the funpark for the kids. The rides were only for children. But there is also a second funpark for the very big children. A way marked on the ground led us through the halls. We were here at the end of the first exhibition week and thus not all animals were still there. In the first halls we saw mainly pigs, goats, sheep and alpacas. All animals get judged and so there were here and there a champion, or a first, second or third place. Then we went to the horse stables. The most important exhibition animal is the horse. Then we went to the cow stable and I found the breed which my parents have. I was very astonished that they breed Brown Swiss here. We could see many farm animals and I found it very good that in one hall there was a big petting zoo. Like this the children can learn how the animals look like.

Our way led to the dog hall. A few owner treated their darlings with comb and hair dryer. They also styled themselves: a few ladies were wearing a costume. I knew that there are contests, but I realized that they judge here everything. That it will get more bizarre I did not know yet. I do not list everything, but a few examples: cakes were prized, knits and pictures were judged, single flowers ranked and exhibited. That poultry of any kind was shown and of course judged was not remarkable, but the prize for the most beautiful eggs. I think there is nothing which did not find itself in a ranking. In total there were 12'500 contests during the show.

There are also contests in sheep shearing, cutting wood, throwing axes and surely much more. We watched axe throwing. Here an axe had to be thrown to a target. The participants are from Australia and New Zealand.

Very typical for the Easter Show are the showbags. This are plastic bags filled with sweets, toys, fan articles, etc. which can be bought. We saw many which bought such bags.

In the evening we enjoyed a brilliant show in the Commonwealth Bank Arena. These was the main stadium of the Olympic Games. It was interesting that the running tracks were removed as they are not used anymore.

First we saw a round of the rodeo championship. The teams of the federal states New South Wales and Queensland were competed against each other for points. Always 3 participants from each state competed in a discipline. The first one was to ride a wild horse without saddle. The rider must stay for a given time on the horse, else he will get no points. Is the time passed he get points depending on his performance. The second discipline is turning a young bull on the back. Two are are let into the arena at the same time and the first which reaches the bull with the horse, jumps down and pushes it down wins. For the cowgirls was the lady contest. Here they had to ride a course as fast as possible. Number 4 was riding a wild horse with saddle and and the end came the ultimate discipline: bull riding. Here only two cowboys managed to stay over the time on the bull. After the bulls did not always leave the arena. So two cowboys on the horse tried to shoo him and two on foot tried to lure him. If this did not help they let in a few cows to lure him away. I found it very fascinating to see a rodeo live. After there was the RAS Stockmens' Ride. Charged with Australian flags the group rode a synchronous performance to the sound of the police band. It was very nice to look as it was nearly dark and they had small LEDs at the clothes and on the hat. Next came a freestyle motocross show. It was fascinating to watch the motorcycles and even a quad flying through the air. In between the individual shows some Australian bands and singers were performing. The crowning final was a 15 minutes long “pyromusical”, a big fire and fireworks show which was musically framed by a didgeridoo and a drum kit. It felt magically.