Our young guns of the show set crack­ing pace

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - News - Roxanne Wil­son

WHAT do an en­ter­tainer, cow wran­gler, horse rider and baker have in com­mon? They’re among the young stars at this year’s Royal Ade­laide Show.

Show or­gan­is­ers say they have re­ceived 3275 en­tries across their ju­nior com­pe­ti­tions this year, ac­count­ing for more than 10% of to­tal en­tries.

For tal­ented baker Sarah McKenna, 6, the show is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity to test her skills in the kitchen against her two broth­ers, Ben, 9, and Noah, 10.

This year, Sarah won first place in the ‘fruit and veg de­sign’ class with a pig she made out of veg­eta­bles.

She also won her ju­nior pri­mary age group for her rock buns and frittata, with a sec­ond place for muffins.

Sarah, who has par­tic­i­pated for the sec­ond year in a row, said she came back be­cause “it is so fun”.

Her mother, Jo McKenna, said she en­cour­aged her chil­dren to en­ter show com­pe­ti­tions be­cause “cook­ing is such a vi­tal part of life”.

“It helps them later on in life – what­ever they do in life, cook­ing is al­ways go­ing to be there,” she said.

For horse rider Jett Donoghue, also 6, com­pet­ing at the Royal Ade­laide Show was a mat­ter of tra­di­tion.

“Our fam­ily has got a deep his­tory in it,” Jett’s mother Leanne said.

“I com­pete and we live on a farm (in the Ade­laide Hills) – it is just our way of life.”

You don’t have to search far to find more an­i­mal-lov­ing chil­dren at the show.

Eleven-year-old Kelsey Mathew, who is show­ing dairy cat­tle at this year’s event with friend Char­lie Nash, said while this was of­fi­cially her sec­ond year com­pet­ing, she has “been com­ing on and off my whole life”.

“It is not ev­ery day you get to lead a cow around at the show,” she said, adding that she en­joyed en­ter­ing the ju­nior han­dler com­pe­ti­tion.

“(I get) very ner­vous. But I just put on a brave face and then just try lead it (the cow) around and look happy.”

An­other young gun of the show not to be for­got­ten is the charis­matic Mater Van­deleur.

But the nine-year-old isn’t com­pet­ing at the show – in­stead, you’ll find him pre­sent­ing in his fam­ily’s pop­u­lar pig rac­ing and div­ing show.

Pig Rac­ing Aus­tralia, which is run by three gen­er­a­tions, got its start at the Royal Ade­laide Show in 1993.

More re­cently, young Mater, who will also show­case his pre­sent­ing and in­ter­view­ing skills on Seven’s new show Lit­tle Big Shots, has been bring­ing his sig­na­ture flair to the per­for­mance.

“It is go­ing to be bet­ter than what it was last year,” he said of their 2017 of­fer­ing.

“I’ll also be go­ing out and in­ter­view­ing peo­ple, so I will be get­ting the crowd geed up.”

Royal Ade­laide Show gen­eral man­ager Michelle Hock­ing said stu­dent in­volve­ment in the event’s com­pe­ti­tions was “an essen­tial el­e­ment to the fu­ture suc­cess of the show”.

“We of­ten re­fer to the Royal Show as South Aus­tralia’s big­gest class­room,” she said.

“The next gen­er­a­tion brings ideas, in­no­va­tion and an op­por­tu­nity to share ideas with the broader pub­lic that at­tends.”

The next gen­er­a­tion brings ideas, in­no­va­tion and an op­por­tu­nity to share ideas with the broader pub­lic that at­tends.

— Royal Ade­laide Show gen­eral man­ager Michelle Hock­ing

COOK­ERY KIDS

SARAH MCKENNA, 6

■ How many times have you en­tered ju­nior cook­ery? This is my sec­ond year en­ter­ing.

■ What have you en­tered this year? I’ve en­tered a pig into the fruit and veg de­sign class and then scones, gingerbread men, dec­o­rated bis­cuits, rock buns, frittata and muffins.

■ How long did it take to pre­pare all your en­tries? Three days.

■ Why do you keep en­ter­ing ju­nior cook­ery? Be­cause it is so fun.

■ What has been one of your favourite mo­ments? I beat Ben in the muffins cat­e­gory last year.

■ How do you make a good muf­fin? You’ve got to cook it. And don’t over-mix it.

■ What is your favourite thing about the show? The rides and the toys, and it has an­i­mals.

DAIRY CAT­TLE JU­NIOR HAN­DLER

KELSEY MATHEW, 11

■ How long have you been show­ing dairy cat­tle? This is my sec­ond year but I have been com­ing on and off my whole life.

■ Have you been suc­cess­ful in the past two years? Ata dif­fer­ent show I got a third place. When I came here we got a rib­bon for par­tic­i­pat­ing in novice classes.

■ What do you like most about show­ing dairy cat­tle at the show? Lead­ing them in the grand pa­rade, the judg­ing and just com­ing to the Ade­laide Show.

■ What is one ques­tion ev­ery­body asks you when they find out you show dairy cat­tle? Where do you sleep? Down in the brick shed, there are some stairs that go up above where some cows are and there are lit­tle rock­ers up there.

■ Do you ever get a good night’s sleep? Some­times. It de­pends how tired you are.

■ What else do you love about the show? The show­bags.

■ What are your tips for be­ing a good han­dler? You have to get a good bond with your cow be­fore you put it on the hal­ter and lead it around. You need to be care­ful be­cause some­times they can be a bit silly.

■ How do you de­velop a good bond with your cow? You give it lots of food, be­cause they like food. You groom them, pat them, wash them, hang around them a lot and just lead them around. A cow I got for last year, I can sit down next to her and lay on her, like put my back on her belly.

■ Why would you en­cour­age other kids to get in­volved? It is not ev­ery day you get to lead a cow around at the show.

■ Do you get ner­vous? Yes, very ner­vous. But I just put on a brave face and then just try lead it (the cow) around and look happy.

PIG RAC­ING AUS­TRALIA PRE­SEN­TER

MATER VAN­DELEUR, 9

■ What is your favourite thing about work­ing at the show? I get to meet new peo­ple.

■ What can we ex­pect of your show this year? It is go­ing to be bet­ter than what it was last year. I’ll also be go­ing out and in­ter­view­ing peo­ple, so I will be get­ting the crowd geed up.

■ What does it take to be a good in­ter­viewer and pre­sen­ter? You have to have the ques­tions and the an­swer be­hind them... and

en­thu­si­asm.

With the cam­era, if you wear some­thing dark it won’t show up. You have to wear vi­brant stuff.

■ What is it like work­ing

with pigs? It is very fun, but the key thing you have to do is not push them. They do it on their own be­half.

■ Do you get ner­vous? I used to but now I don’t as much. We have mu­sic to start it off and I just flow with the mu­sic.

HORSE RIDER

JETT DONOGHUE, 6

■ What do you love about par­tic­i­pat­ing at the show? Rid­ing in the big arena.

■ What is your favourite sec­tion/class to en­ter? The horses as I get to ride my pony.

■ What is your favourite show mem­ory? Watch­ing Mum ride as a baby.

■ What else do you like about the show? The show­bags.

■ Why would you sug­gest other kids get in­volved in the show’s com­pet­i­tive sec­tions? It’s fun.

■ Do you have any rid­ing idols? Jeff Evans the show jumper.

■ What is the hard­est job that comes with own­ing horses? Clean­ing the sta­bles.

PHOTO: TAIT SCHMAAL

NEXT GEN: Young guns of the show (from left) Kelsey Mathew, 11, Mater Van­deleur, 9, Sarah McKenna, 6, and Jett Donoghue, 6.

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