Show of hearts
By CRAIG McTEAR
MADELINE Halpin captured the hearts of the crowd at the 116th Bellingen Show at the weekend.
The show stalwart, aged in her 90s, performed the official opening at 2pm on Saturday and was greeted with loud applause when she appeared in a vintage car at the grand opening parade.
"She's a very gracious lady and did a beautiful job," Bellingen Show Society secretary Marie Warwick said yesterday.
"We've had a very successful show, with a lot of very tired stewards. I'd like to thank all of them, and all volunteers for their help."
Up to 2300 people ? down on last year's figure ? took advantage of the glorious weather to head to the two-day extravaganza.
One of the big drawcards was yesterday morning's inaugural Mongrel Dog Show.
"It was very popular. We thought we'd have 60 entries but we got over 100," Mrs Warwick said.
The section for the dog which most resembled its owner had some hilarious entries including a Dalmation whose owner painted his face with black and white spots, a pet and owner each adorning a pink tutu and an SES officer and pooch both wearing an SES vest.
"Many went to a lot of trouble. It went off very well," Mrs Warwick said.
"The showjumping and ridden classes were very popular, as was the woodchopping, and the beef and dairy cattle sections had high quality entries.
"Bellingen Shire Council's retrospective art exhibition was very favourable, and while entries were down in the EJ Mantova art exhibition, it was good quality work.
"Pavilion entries were down, but the quality was excellent. Cassandra Goodworth from Bonville was the overall winner.
"The showground has been absolutely packed with sideshows and trade spots and the entertainment tent showcasing local talent has been going non-stop for two days."