Show smashes records

Kyneton’s Sonny Fisher, 14 months, making friends in Farmer Darryl’s animal nursery at his first Kyneton Show. Mum, Tyana Ellul, says she grew up going to the show and couldn’t wait to take her first-born. “I knew the animals were there and he’s a big animal lover,” she said. “He loved it.” Photo: Sloane Griffin Photography

They came from Malmsbury and Montreal, Tylden and Taiwan, Drummond and Dublin, from Castlemaine and the Czech Republic, Sidonia, Sweden and Scotland, Newham, New Zealand, Indonesia and Japan. 

In total, more than 9300 people attended the 161st Kyneton Show. 

Kyneton Agricultural Society secretary Josephine Rutledge said perfect weather attracted record crowds for both the Friday night carnival and Show Day. 

“It’s exciting to see that the show is something that’s so loved by everybody and people seem to bring their friends and family members from far and wide,” she said. 

“Very rarely can you buy a ticket to something and then experience a day of free fun that will entertain 8 year-olds to 80 year-olds and the show is unique in that way.” 

President Andrew Ferrington said it was a great country show with traditional things like the pavilion competition, the horse show and all the farm animals as well as all the free activities and new initiatives like the crowd-built LEGO wall. 

Over five hours, 504 people of all ages created a giant multi-coloured mosaic made of 32,000 pieces of LEGO. Each person followed a template matching the colours on their tile. Each panel was then slotted into a 3.5-metre-wide, three-metre-high wall, gradually revealing the bigger Kyneton Show themed picture. 

“The show is about getting out there and doing stuff, using your hands and your head and your imagination,” Mr Ferrington said. 

He said the Kyneton Agricultural Society was believed to be the first in Victoria, possibly Australia, to deliver a sustainable show by reducing its carbon footprint and offsetting the carbon it produced. 

“That’s waste, electricity, how much water we use, how much travel our volunteers do,” Mr Ferrington said. “The fireworks operator uses 15 kilograms of explosives, which generate about 8 kilograms of carbon. We offset our emissions planting trees and buying carbon credits to offset the estimated 15 tonnes of carbon produced through the show.” 

The Wash Against Waste initiative saw volunteers washing crockery and cutlery, saving thousands of plastic plates and cups from landfill. 

“They washed 1500 plates, 500 cups and glasses,” Mr Ferrington said. Each plate was washed and re-used at least three times, replacing a minimum 4500 plastic plates. 

He thanked the 200 volunteers who made the show happen. 

“We can’t do this without volunteers,” Mr Ferrington said. “We are all volunteers. No one is paid.” 

Creative talent on show

There were more than 3000 entries in the pavilion competitions at the 161st Kyneton Show.

The Watts pavilion was a kaleidoscope of colourful creativity and fragrant blooms with another pavilion dedicated to the booming LEGO competition.

“It’s the only pavilion dedicated to LEGO at a country show in Victoria, possibly in Australia,” steward Nicole Laity said.

A record 300-plus stories were also on display in the creative writing competition.

The traditional agricultural show classes remain crowd favourites, from champion rose to the best baking, home grown vegetables and the best eggs, needlework and knitting.

More contemporary additions include the traditional art of home brew across a range of classes and the new category of wargaming miniatures which is tipped to grow next year as word spreads.

Photography is the most hotly contested section with more than 650 entries from experimental and drone photography to photos of the family pet.

It’s a showcase of talent from right around the district and beyond with some entrants coming from interstate to join the highly regarded Kyneton Show competition.

Winners of the VAS classes in each section go through to the group final for our region with the chance to win through to the state final at the Royal Melbourne Show.

The aggregate prize goes to the competitor who has won the most points across the various classes in their section.

While winning is a triumph, the fun is in sharing the joy and being part of a country show tradition.

Each entry makes the competition, creating a stunning display of incredible talent that saw thousands admiring the wide range of exhibits and animals across the two-day show.

The horse competition returned for the first time since COVID after being cancelled because of wet conditions last year.

The stud sheep section attracted more entrants in the junior handler competition while champion sheep and alpaca fleeces fascinated all ages.

The poultry pavilion was also popular, introducing crowds to a wide range of varieties of chickens, roosters, quail and ducks.These are the main prize winners for each section.

Craft work

Best adult exhibit class: John Frank and Lynn Walker

Best exhibit, 18-25 years: Riley Marshall

Best exhibit, 13-17 years: Maggie Barber

Best exhibit, 9-12 years: Riley Bourke

Best exhibit, 8 and under: Sylvie McKenna

Best junior exhibit: Jacquelyn Dudley and Mackinley Hardy

Best exhibit, wood: Cindy Prendergast

Best exhibit, ag art: Duncan Cocking

Hand-beaded jewellery: Lynn Walker (goes on to group final)

Decorated pet rock (14 yrs and under): Hannah Alexander (goes on to group final)

Best exhibit war gaming miniatures: Jayden Andrea

Creative writing

Class 1 (grade 5 and 6 students): Lily Moait, Lancefield Primary School 

Class 1b (grade 3 and 4 students: Lena Dewberry, Kyneton Primary School 

Class 2 (8 yrs and under): Annabel Schreiber, Hesket Primary School

Class 3 (9 to 12 years): Ava Ryan, St Ambrose Primary School

Class 4 (13 to15 yrs): no entry

Class 5 (16 to 17 yrs): Cooper Ganzevoort

Class 6 (adults): Eligh Blume

Farm and dairy produce

Aggregate prize: Deb Kohlman

Collection 5 vegetables: Deb Kohlman

Helen Thiele memorial ribbon (rhubarb): Deb Kohlman

Most outstanding entry: Paul Spiteri

Any vegetable grown by a child: Eva Spiteri

Best junior exhibit: Eva Spiteri

Fleeces – sheep

Richard Dixon Memorial Best Merino Fleece: Tom Metcalf

MB O’Sullivan Memorial Best Medium Merino Fleece: Noreen Murphy

Eilan Donan perpetual Trophy, Best Pair Merino Fleece: Noreen Murphy

Best Crossbred Fleece: Ronelle Welton

Fleeces – alpaca 

Supreme Champion Huacaya Fleece: Surtierra Rebel exhibited by Surtierra 

Reserve Overall Huacaya Fleece: Malakai Promise et exhibited by Chamley

Supreme Champion Suri Fleece: Attrill House Star-Lord exhibited by Attrill House

Reserve Overall Suri Fleece: Meridien Morwenna exhibited by Meridian 

Ann Sales Memorial Ribbon for top scoring Grey Huacaya: Otway Orchard Silver Lining exhibited by Otway Orchard

Home brew

2023 Champion Brewer (aggregate prize for most points across the competition) and Champion Beer of Show: Craig Bates

Home produce

Aggregate prize: Wendy Proimos

Best adult exhibit: Tracey Marshall and Steven Adkins

Best junior exhibit: Indigo Hardy

VAS Rich fruit cake: Deb Kohlman

VAS junior boiled fruit cake: Mabel Pearce

VAS Carrot cake: Ian Kohlman

VAS junior carrot muffins: no entry

Plain sponge (4 eggs): Jodi Prendergast (goes on to group final)

Plain scones: Kerryn Wildenburg (goes on to group final)

Arnold Jenkins memorial ribbon, shortbread: Deb Hunt

Decorated teddy bear biscuit (10 yrs and under): Willlow Swain (goes on to group final)

Plain scones (14 yrs and under): Zoe Kennedy (goes on to group final)

Decorated cup cakes (14 yrs and under): Kirrily Bradford (goes on to group final)

Anything made with ginger: Sandra Fox

Handmade bread: Christine Jessup and Toni Atkinson


Supreme Led Exhibit Shirley Fitzgerald Memorial Trophy: Clint Bilson leading King Creed

VAS Ltd Off the Track Open: Clint Bilson leading King Creed (qualifies for the 2024 VASA Ag Show Championship) 

Alabar Hero Series Standardbred Off the Track: Steph Gibson riding Scout’n About (qualifies for the 2024 VASA Ag Show Championship) 

Jean Haynes Supreme Champion Harness horse or pony: Jodie Mckeone driving Winona of Bella Donna with groom, Cynthia Grant

World class: Kyneton’s Jodie Mckeone driving Winona of Bella Donna to win the harness championship as horses returned to the Kyneton Show for the first time since 2019. McKeone is just home from riding for Australia at the World Paradriving Championships in the Netherlands. “It’s a bit surreal coming home with a bronze medal,” McKeone said. “It’s great to come home and support our local show.” Photo: Sophie McLeod


Champion rose: Bronwyn O’Neill

Aggregate prize – cut flowers: Therese Ryan

Aggregate prize – potted plants: Rebecca Long

Aggregate prize – decorative section: Kristina Forbes

Best exhibit, decorative section: Kristina Forbes

Best exhibit, children’s section: Oliver Holmes

Arnold Jenkins memorial ribbon: Therese Ryan

Jams, preserves, chutneys

Aggregate prize: Deb Kohlman

Best jar of jam: Brigid Robertson

Exhibition citrus marmalade: Deb Kohlman 

Best preserve: Brigid Robertson

Best junior exhibit: Noah Furness

Best spread: Deb Kohlman 

Best exhibit, young adult: Jojo Beard


Best exhibit 5 years and under: Callum Gallo

Best exhibit 6-8 years: Clifford Blake

Best exhibit 9 – 12 years: Mackinley Hardy

Best exhibit 13 – 17 years: Oscar Pereira

Best exhibit big kids: Daniel Porter

A brick in the wall: Ten-year-old Clancy was among the 504 people who pieced together 32,000 LEGO bricks to create a giant mosaic, gradually revealing a picture of the Kyneton Show. Photo: Sloane Griffin Photography

Needlework and knitting

Aggregate prize: Joanne Woolacott

VAS State Sewing Championship: no entry

VAS Knitting: Joanne Woolacott (goes on to group final)

VAS Hand patchwork: no entry

VAS Hand embroidery: no entry

VAS Crocheted article: Gai Stewart

VAS Cross stitch: Shirley Porter

Best exhibit, knitting: Suzanne Ereaut

Knitted baby garment: Helen Judge (goes on to group final)

Beanie: Joanne Woolacott (goes on to group final)

Coat hanger, any yarn: no entry

Best exhibit, crochet: Pamela Inglis

Crochet baby jacket: Kerry Bruni (goes on to group final)

Any crocheted toy: Jennifer Dittmer (goes on to group final)

Best exhibit, Textile design/sewing: Kelly Cassidy

Best exhibit, Embroidery: joy Pearce

Best exhibit, Patchwork/quilting: Debbie Garrigan

Best exhibit, Stitching: Lindy Muir

Best exhibit, Toys/dolls: Vicki-Anne Jakobi

Best exhibit, Bags: Jo Porch

Best exhibit, miscellaneous: Deirdre Briscombe

Best junior exhibit: Penny Whelan

Handspinning Bob Stewart Memorial Prize: Jennifer Francis

Best exhibit, young adult 18-25 years: Freja Halvarsson

Best exhibit, junior 17 years and under: Lily Anstey-sprigg

Painting and drawing

Aub Gibson prize for Best original painting: Stephanie Warr 

Best junior exhibit: Kirrily Bradford 

Paper skills

Best adult exhibit: Nicole Laity

Best junior exhibit: Ella Middleton Bruhn

1 leaf (one page): Sharyn Wade (goes on to group final)

Handmade card, 14 yrs and under: Adelia Padilla Judge (goes on to group final)

Handmade card, open: Victoria Porter (goes on to group final)


Aggregate prize in memory Nash Dudley: Jen Ford

Best adult exhibit: Leanne Watts

Best junior exhibit: Lana Hughes

Encouragement award juniors: Jasper Bailey

Daniel McKay award – adult: Sharyn Wade

Daniel McKay award – junior: Lana Hughes

VAS photography, adult: Francesca Tenniswood

VAS photography, junior: Matilda Scott


Champion Bird in Show: Old English Game Black Red rooster exhibited by Rob Maloney

Reserve Champion: Black Pekin Hen exhibited by Ben Pickles

Champion Standard Hardfeather: Old English Game Black Red rooster exhibited by Rob Maloney 

Champion Standard Light Softfeather: White Leghorn exhibited by Ben Pickles

Champion Standard Heavy Softfeather: Barnevelder hen exhibited by Caitlyn Bonacker

Champion Bantam Light Softfeather: White Leghorn exhibited by Ben Pickles

Champion Bantam Heavy Softfeather: Black Pekin Hen exhibited by Ben Pickles

Champion Hardfeather Bantam: Old English Black Red Rooster exhibited by Robert Moloney

Champion Waterfowl: White Muscovy duck exhibited by Ben Pickles 

Stud sheep

Champion Ram of Show, exhibited by Sebastian Beattie, Hampshire Down

Reserve Champion Ram: Cloverleaf, exhibited by Corridale

Champion Ewe: exhibited by Audrey Beattie, Hampshire Down

Champion Group of the Show (1 Ram, 2 Ewes, any age): Cloverleaf, exhibited by Corridale

Junior Handlers Competition: Bosco Correa