Ballarat Agricultural &
Pastoral Society is celebrating the 150th
anniversary of its formation in 2006. With so many show
societies folding in recent years, the milestone of 150
years is an outstanding achievement for both the organisers
and the many volunteers who have freely given their time and
effort over the past century and a half.
The Ballarat Agricultural &
Pastoral Society was established in 1856 with the first
shows held in 1859. Originally located outside of the
Ballarat city environs at Learmonth, the Society moved into
Ballarat, to showgrounds located at Lake Wendouree in 1861.
This site was occupied until 1934 when the Society relocated
to the present showgrounds on Creswick Road. Plans are
currently being discussed for the Society to make another
move in the future to a purpose built showground.
Ballarat Agricultural & Pastoral Society maintains a long
and proud history of dedication to rural Ballarat and
surrounding areas, offering primary producers many
agricultural and livestock events through out the year. By
far the most anticipated and well loved of these events is
the annual Spring Show.
As with all agricultural
events, the Ballarat Show has undergone an evolutionary
process over the years since its inception. As one of the
largest agricultural shows in country Victoria, Ballarat
Show maintains the long tradition of the agricultural shows
everywhere by bringing together the city and country. From a
vast array of livestock events, to sheaf tossing and wood
chopping competitions, displays of needlework and cooking to
high performance cars and sideshows, there are events and
amusements to satisfy both competitors and spectators alike.
The show is Ballaratís oldest community event and, despite
Ballaratís reputation for providing interesting weather
conditions, attendances of up to 30í000 people have been
recorded in recent years.
The horse events have always
been a main stay of the Ballarat show since its early days.
Originally, horses were displayed for their practical
purpose, involved in ploughing competitions and the like.
Later on, they began to make an appearance to be judged on
their confirmation and performance as led and saddle
exhibits. These events have evolved into the modern show
ring that we know today. Like all areas of the agricultural
show, the horse section has had to move with the times in
order to survive, such as the introduction of the 3 ring
circus in the 1990ís, allowing competitors to maximise their
qualifications for the Royal Shows. The introduction and
development of various horse breeds in the past century &
the need for specialised rings to cater to these animals has
seen the rise of large breed sections at the Ballarat Show.
The 2006 Ballarat Agricultural
will be held from the 10th to the 12th
of November. With 3 days of equestrian events on offer,
Ballarat has provided a new look horse competition for the
2006 show. Commencing on Friday 10th November
the traditional District Show Day, open to all horses and
riders within an 80km radius of Ballarat PO. This day
incorporates both showing and novelty events and is aimed at
encouraging local riders to compete in a friendly and
The Saturday horse program
offers three large open horse rings, with turnouts, led
classes, open saddle & rider classes. The three rings will
provide anyone wanting to qualify for the major events such
as Melbourne Royal, plenty of opportunities. The Henderson
Trophy, with garland and rug will be awarded to the Supreme
Saddle Exhibit of the show. There is a separate ring for
newcomer saddle horses & show hunters, with a Supreme
Champion award up for grabs for the best show hunter
exhibit. Pony Club riders have also been catered for with a
separate pony club ring, with the Frank Broadhead Trophy to
be awarded to the Champion Pony Club Rider.
Saturday Novelty events have
been expanded with over one thousand dollars in prizes on
offer in the three main events and all the events earning
points for the 2006/2007 ANRA Inc. Horse of the Year
Series. James & Son Stockfeeds has kindly provided
sponsorship for many of the events in the novelty program.
Sunday the 12th has
been set-aside for an All Breeds Show with the Society
offering seven rings, with classes covering a multitude of
led and ridden horse & pony breeds, coloured horse classes,
a Riding Pony Qualifying event and a full open led and
ridden ring. There are 15 Supreme Champion sashes to be won
across the seven rings. The program is structured to try and
provide competitors with at least two led & ridden classes
should they chose to participate.
year the society sponsors an individual horse breed to be
the feature breed of the show. This year the magnificent
Morgan horses will be featured. Renowned for its courage
and versatility the Morgan horse was first introduced to
Australia about 100 years ago. The Morgan has become more
and more popular as the years have progressed & has made a
regular appearance at Ballarat Show for some years now.
Harness enthusiasts are also
well catered for with a large harness program being offered
in the afternoon, including a Supreme Harness Exhibit.
Official showjumping events
will again held on both Saturday and Sunday with Ballarat
Grammar is again the major sponsor for all the showjumping
events. Due to new space requirements, the jumping events
have been moved to the Ballarat Pony Club grounds in
Victoria Park. The excellent jumping surface at this ground
should appeal to competitors at all levels. There are a
variety of official EFA events on both days for many
different grades and include the Young Horse Classic Cycle
Series on Saturday 11th and the Open Ballarat
Championship on Sunday 12th. With over $2000 in money and
trophies to be won on the Sunday alone, the jumping
competition is an attractive option for competitors.
Official course builder will be David Sheppard. Pony club
jumpers have also been catered for with a full program of
pony club jumping events commencing on Sunday.