Originally written by CATHY HARBISON
SHEEPVENTION 2007 organisers claim more than 500 exhibitors will fill the pavilion and oval this year. Organisers say most are regulars from previous years, but an influx of new stallholders every year ensures the event continues to grow.
This year’s event will be held on August 6-7.
The inner oval walk will again feature recreation, camping and leisure vehicles, sheep yards and other trade sites.
This year’s feature breed in the sheep pavilion is the poll Dorset.
More than 1100 sheep have been entered in the show section, including 400 merino rams for sale at the 29th annual ram sale.
Despite the drought, the numbers of sheep offered for sale at Sheepvention 2007 is only slightly down on last year.
The rams can be viewed on Monday and buyers are asked to register on Monday to ensure the sales can start at 10am on Tuesday.
“The standard of entries to the Australian Young Designer’s award this year is outstanding,” trade and promotions officer for Sheepvention, Rob Stewart said.
Once again the winner will receive a two-week fashion design course in Milan at the Instituto Marangoni, donated by Geoff Handbury and Ace Radio.
The awards will be announced at the gala fashion parade on Sunday night.
A limited number of tickets for the gala parade are still available through the showgrounds or Ace Radio.
The designs will be shown again on Monday when four parades are scheduled and Tuesday when the final three parades will be held.
The Australian Young Designer’s award already has over 80 entrants, a large increase from last year, and Mr Stewart is hoping even more young designers will enter.
So far, entries have come from South Australia, New South Wales and Melbourne, including some entries from secondary school students.
On request, Sheepvention is able to provide wool fabric donated by Macquarie Textiles and Elders to the entrants to assist them create their design and has provided 20 entrants with fabric this year.
The inventions and innovations competition, originally designed for making farming life easier, is one of the most popular sites at Sheepvention, and still has room for more inventions, according to Mr Stewart.
Two separate Tuesday lunchtime seminars on DNA and its role in sheep breeding and biofuels have been organised during Sheepvention.
A NAB sponsored Wool Industry breakfast is being held at 7am on Tuesday at the fashion pavilion, and tickets are still available at $12 from the showgrounds office or by phoning 5572 2563.
The free bus service from Hamilton 3HA and the Coles car park to the entry gates will operate as usual every hour.
Mr Stewart said Sheepvention offered farmers the chance to view the latest farming equipment, to meet people from all over Australia, or just catch up with friends and the organisers are hoping for crowds of up to 25,000.
Already the marquees are going up and everything will be in place by the last week before the event.
The committee has worked hard to ensure the showgrounds are in peak condition and are confident this year’s crowd will be even bigger than last year no matter how cold and wet the weather may be.