Cr Kathy Duff, Miss Wondai Showgirl Samantha Anning, Junior Rural Ambassador Caitlin Handford and Cr Ros Heit at Wednesday night’s award ceremony

August 27, 2014

The Wondai Show Society kicked off its show week celebrations on Wednesday evening with the formal sashing of Miss Wondai Showgirl and Junior Rural Ambassador for 2014.

Samantha Anning, 18, is this year’s Miss Wondai Showgirl, and Caitlin Handford, 16, is this year’s Junior Rural Ambassador.

Samantha is a qualified roller driver who was employed doing flood repair works after the 2013 floods, while Caitlin is a Year 11 student at Kingaroy High School studying a Certificate II in business, as well as agriculture and horticulture.

Both girls are the latest representatives of a proud tradition that stretches back 91 years to the first Wondai Show Queen and Princess who were selected in 1923.

Judges Chris Radunz, Gaye Hobbs and Neil Smith put the entrants in this year’s competition through their paces before announcing the winners at a special function held at the Cecil Hotel.

While judging took place, compere Noel Selway, from the Wondai Show Society, entertained guests with a brief history of the competition, which began with Show Queens and Princesses before it morphed into Miss Showgirl in 1983 and – for a period of a few decades – also included a “Mrs Wondai”.

Samantha was sashed by Cr Kathy Duff, and Caitlin was sashed by Cr Ros Heit.

Both girls were given a suite of prizes supplied by this year’s Miss Wondai Showgirl quest sponsors: Wondai Pharmacy, Wondai News, Wondai Taxi, Tranquillity and Soul, the Wondai & District Garden Club, Liz’s Perfume & Make-Up, Visual Image Hair & Beauty Salon and the Hotel Cecil.

Wondai Show Society secretary-treasurer Liz Stewart said she was “very excited” about this year’s show, which will begin on Friday with a dog show, the judging of pavilion entries and the Young Judges and Handlers competition.

However the main day, as always, will be Saturday.

Gates will open at 8:30am and organisers promise there’ll be something for everyone.

As well as produce displays, arts and crafts, photography and machinery, there’ll be sideshow alley, Viv’s Animal Farm, spinning and weaving demonstrations, woodcrafting, and a full range of agricultural competitions including chainsaw racing.

There’ll also be a bigger than usual roll-up of cattle, and an expanded ring program with miniature horses, along with Carriage Driving which proved very popular when it was introduced last year. This competition is judged on the conformation of the horse(s), the harness and vehicle, and the skill of the driver.

Another sort of rider will also be showing their skills: Rampt Mini FMX will be performing a huge list of tricks including their famous “backflip”, with free poster signings for children.

Perhaps the biggest attraction of this year’s show will be the creation of an emu chainsaw sculpture from a two-tonne block of wood by chainsaw artist Matty G from Maleny – a tribute to the town’s much-loved (and now departed) emu Charlotte.

Matty will be carving the sculpture all day, and the Show Society will be running a $10 per ticket raffle for the finished creation.

Profits from the raffle will be donated to Wondai’s Charlotte the Emu Memorial Committee, which wants to build a permanent steel memorial in the heart of the town.

Queensland’s Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and Cr Kathy Duff will officially open the show at 1:30pm on Saturday.

Entertainment during the day will be provided by the Wondai Town Band and a live on-site broadcast by CROW-FM 90.7, and at 6:30pm “Dealin’ Duo” (local musicians Dean and Helen) will hit the stage for an evening of live music.

To round off the day, Wondai’s famous “Bucking Bull Bonanza”, sponsored by Wondai IGA, will kick off at 7:00pm.

Entry to the Wondai Show on Saturday is $10 for adults, $6 for pensioners and high school students (with ID), $2 for primary school students and pre-schoolers are free.

Entry on Friday is free.

Samantha Anning was sashed by Cr Kathy Duff and presented with prizes by Wondai Show Society secretary-treaurer Liz Stewart
Wondai’s 2014 Junior Rural Ambassador Caitlin Handford, centre, received her prizes from Liz Stewart and her official sash from Cr Ros Heit
Judges Chris Radunz, Gaye Hobbs and Neil Smith put this year’s entrants through a gruelling interview process before announcing the winners

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