Show time for Emily

FOR only the second time in its 150-year history the Royal Launceston Show has a female president.

Emily Bonar has a long association with the show and after two years as vice president has now taken on the top job.

Mrs Bonar’s appointment is only the fourth time a female has been made president of a royal show in Australia.

Her involvement with the show started when she began exhibiting cattle there in her early high school years.

Mrs Bonar lives with her husband Luke and their three daughters on their property near Sidmouth where they run a cattle stud.

In 2016, Mrs Bonar took on an official role on the beef committee and since then has worked her way up to become president.

“Its great fun, and having a good team helps,” she said.

She said they are also slowly getting more younger people involved at a committee level.

“I think what has really helped is that we’ve pushed for the older people to have an understudy, so we have younger people there coming through and learning the ropes,” she said.

“So, when it is time for those older people to step down, we do have that fresh blood coming through but they know the role they have to do so they’re not just diving in the deep end.”

Mrs Bonar said many people do not understand how much work goes in behind the scenes organising a royal show.

She said the amount of red tape and insurance requirements now have added even more work.

This year the show will celebrate its 150th anniversary and will also host the national finals for 10 different events, including junior judging, cattle handling, fleece judging and the ambassador contest.

More than 300 interstate competitors and visitors will travel down for the national finals competitions.

The show will return to its three-day format and this year will be held from October 12-14.

For the second year the show will be held at Quercus Park, which Mrs Bonar said had been a hugely positive move.

“We’ve got quite a good relationship with Rural Youth so hopefully we should be out there for the foreseeable future,” she said.

“The place has got so much potential. The large sheds that are there and just the amount of space has been fantastic.

“It’s actually probably easier for people coming from Hobart and coming from the Northwest Coast because they don’t have to go through the town traffic.”

Mrs Bonar said the move means they have been able to reintroduce grass roots show events such as the yard dog competition, the working dogs and this year there will also be lure dogs competing.

Alpacas will be back at the show this year and an international judge from India will be travelling to the show to oversee the dog competition.

There has also been very strong interest from trade exhibitors which Mrs Bonar said was encouraging and something they would like to build on.

The animal nursery is also going to be a highlight this year.

There will also be a celebratory anniversary dinner for the show’s 150th anniversary.

Mrs Bonar said while it will be a very busy few months ahead, she was looking forward the challenge.

“I’m probably diving in the deep end this year being president, but I’m excited,” she said.