Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Robbo show - good weather, great crowds

The caption says it all. No thunderstorms this year. Just the most gentle of fogs, which rolled in about 5:00pm, to wrap the people of Robertson in their familiar "soft grey comfort blanket".

Rosemary Turner, Leesa Stratford, Ted Ross and the rest of the gang can be well pleased with the attendances, and the quality of the exhibits. The livestock people take the Robbo Show very seriously. As do the horse people, who had the main arena for most of the day.

The public got to do their thing, of course, with a variety of competitions, from tiny kids in bike races, wheelbarrow races, "gig" races (more or less "human drawn sulkies" - forgive me if the terminolgy is not correct). Then there were the egg throwing (and catching) competitions, and gum boot throwing. Log splitting competitions, and of course, the Australian Championship Potato Race. It is amazing to see how "willing" some of these people are: kids (boys and girls), women, and the men. The first 2 categories run around the oval, carrying 12.5 Kg of potatoes; the blokes carry 50 Kg. Several people fell towards the end of their circuit, which is not surprising, but must be very disappointing for them.

My favourite event was the "jumping dog" event. (Not "dog jumping" where people might jump over a dog). No, this is where dogs jump, climb or scale a barrier which started at about 4 feet (old terminology folks, but this is "The Bush") and the wall was raised in increments, by adding another board to the height of the barrier. Eventually it came down to 2 dogs, both owned by the same person, a guy from Camden (Ireland, via Camden, I should say). Anyway, both his dogs cleared 7 foot 2 inches, and one managed 7 foot 10 inches, to become the champion. Amazing. This event is something of a crowd pleaser, I would have to say, and you could tell the sympathies of the crowd were with some dogs (and owners) as they variously failed the fence height, or, insisted on ducking around the side of the wall, to join their slightly embarassed owners on the other side. These dogs are not stupid, you know. Why leap over a 7 foot wall, when you can duck around the side of the wall, and leap up onto the Ute behind the wall, and join your owner that way?

Ah, this whole Show Day revealed the true Nature of Robertson.

Honest, decent country people doing what comes naturally to them, and honouring a tradition handed down from their grandparents, or great grandparents..

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