Alpha rolls up for show

The Bettridge family is a name synonymous with the Alpha Show, with generations of involvement the annual event has become a real family affair.
The Bettridge family is a name synonymous with the Alpha Show, with generations of involvement the annual event has become a real family affair.

THE Central Highlands show circuit started off its 2011 circuit with a bang in Alpha yesterday.

A small but consistent crowd enjoyed the fun at the Alpha Showgrounds for most of the day, with numbers expected to explode with the show holiday today.

The first of the five Highlands shows entered its 46th year with fine weather and a finer program including ring events, stud and prime cattle judging, working dog trials, a young judge’s competition, numerous sideshows and even the famous Gilmore Family Circus.

Entertainment continued into the night with a junior parader’s competition, motorbike challenge, pig racing, sideshow alley, live entertainment and an open bar.

Alpha Show Society secretary Sharleen Bettridge said an increase in sponsorship of the show saw an increase in its size and quality.

“When I first took it on it was quite simple, I virtually did everything, like organising schedules and the sponsorship, but the last few years it has just gotten so big,” she said.

“We now have to have a bigger crew and need a much bigger team to help get this show up and running.

“We get a lot of support from community members, voluntary members and students. If you don’t have those people you don’t have a show.”

Mrs Bettridge said there was a host of new attractions on show to the public this year, with a wider range to support the growing crowds.

“We bought a new grandstand for our second arena and some new portable kennels,” she said.

“There are some new competitions that we will be trialling for the first time and we expect them to be a success.”

A noticeable inclusion to the new competitions was The Young Show Person, which ran in a similar fashion to the Miss Showgirl competition except competitors could be male or female and aged between 12 and 17.

Mrs Bettridge said the highlights for the show were usually the woodchop, fashion parade and the Top Ten Working Dogs.

“We run a Calcutta on the top 10 dogs and the money raised goes to the hospital,” she said.

“But really, there is something for everyone nowadays.”

The Alpha Show is expected to enjoy large crowds today for the town’s official public holiday.

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