The Cloncurry Cattleman’s Dinner continues to go from strength to strength, with the important lead in to the Cloncurry Show attracting 300 guests to the Cloncurry Community Precinct on Thursday.
One of the show founders, Rowan Hickson, who is now retired and enjoying his golf at Bellingen in New South Wales, returned to the Curry to reminisce about the show and the dinner’s beginnings in 1980.
“Initially a few of us met at the pub, first the Oasis then the Leichhardt with Billie Telford, for an informal dinner,” Mr Hickson said of those early gatherings.
Gradually the dinner became bigger as the Showgirl presentation night was incorporated into the evening and later became bigger than Ben Hur as the night became a Cloncurry gala evening attracting top guests from across the country.
This year’s guest was Brisbane-based poet Rupert McColl who kept the crowd enthralled with his clever rhyming and as MC Mick Chaplain said “you could have heard a pin drop when he spoke.”
As usual the three Cloncurry showgirl contestants, Mikaela Tapp, Samantha Wood and Annie Henwood were introduced to the crowd by Sarah Harvey and they each answered a question ahead of Saturday’s judging (Ms Tapp was eventually named winner).
Then cattle judge Brett Nobbs announced the winner of the six cattle classes and the grand champion, haling the great quality of the cattle on show.
As usual Peter Woollett of Nardoo, near Gregory, was among the prizes winning three categories.
The winners were:
Class 1 (pen of three bullocks): Nardoo
Class 2 (three local trade steers): Nardoo
Class 3 (three export cows): Fort Constantine
Class 4 (three local heifers): Nardoo
Class 5 (pen of three yearlings): Buckingham
Class 6 (pen of three bulls): Gipsy Plains.
Mr Nobbs awarded the Grand champion prize to Class 3, the three export cows froms Fort Constantine.