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AS MUCH as 95 per cent of the South East Queensland region for the Sydney Royal Show District Exhibits competition might have been drought declared for 12 months leading into this year’s show, but the team that pulled together the District Exhibits display broke another drought that has lasted much longer.
South East Queensland won its first District Exhibits title since it became part of the competition in 1905 – and it scraped through by just 2.24 points.
The winning region came home on 9360.45 points, with South in second on 9358.21, and North in third on 9349.52.
This was from a potential 1270 points. Col Dabelstein, Glasshouse Mountains, Qld, and part of the winning team, in accepting the award, said “it’s a fairly good honour to do so”.
Mr Dabelstein said the court’s theme was “out of the box” and based around the idea that Australian produce spoke for itself.
It took the whole year leading up the Royal to collect the produce for the competition. The South East region – so far as the Sydney Royal competition is concerned – takes in to Gladstone in the north, Emerald in the west and south to St George.
This is the only region that took up the offer from the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW when the invitation was extended to other states to participate in 1905. And it has taken until now for the region to break the locals’ stronghold.
Mr Dabelstein – who clocked up about 60,000 kilometres through the preceding 12 months as he visited producers across the area collecting the entries – said the region made up most of its ground this year in the big scoring categories.
This included a total of 2367.22 from a possible 2670 in grains, 1177.09 points from a possible 1252 in stock fodders and 1436.75 in effective display from a possible 1500.
He said the dry season made for slim pickings with a lot of the produce, but benefited crops like citrus, most of which comes from the North Burnett and Emerald areas. Other exhibits, such as ginger and sweet potatoes, had to be pulled out of the entry at the final hour because they were from the 5pc of the region which had rain, including north of Bundaberg and near Noosa.