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Show under threat

Wednesday, 21st September, 2011

HORSING AROUND: Sue Smith from Allambie Station, 200km from the city, competed at the Show. HORSING AROUND: Sue Smith from Allambie Station, 200km from the city, competed at the Show.

 By Kurtis Eichler

 The bright lights, huge crowds and increasing hype of the Adelaide Show is threatening to kill the Silver City Show, according to its secretary.

Despite being slightly up on last year’s numbers, Broken Hill’s annual family fun day attendance was not what secretary John Ralph was hoping for.

This year 11,600 people walked through the gates, the second-lowest figure in four years. Show attendance has suffered a steady decline since 2008, with 14,000 attending that year.

Mr Ralph described the result as “very poor” and blamed the windy conditions, along with the increasing trend of families heading outside of Broken Hill to get their show fix.

“I actually think that a lot of people are going to the Adelaide Show and the Wentworth Show,” he said.

“They’ve got a lot more down there.”

He revealed his own family members went to the Royal Adelaide Show, which is held one week before Broken Hill’s event.

“You can’t tell people where to go.”

Despite a booming opening night, Mr Ralph said crowds deserted the showgrounds on Saturday afternoon due to strong winds, though numbers did pick up in the evening.

“The winds knocked us around and the rides are not allowed to move.

“If we can strike three days of perfect weather, we can get any amount here.”

Despite dusty conditions, horse trials were still popular with crowds, said Mr Ralph, who added dog trails and jumps could make a return.

“If anyone is willing to take them on voluntarily - it’s in.

“You’ve got to find the people to do it.”

Mr Ralph said the committee made $76,000 from this year’s event before expenses. He said any money left over would go towards the 2012 event.

“We’re not in a bad position,” he said.

“We’ll keep going until the show fizzes out.”


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