The history of agriculture will be on display at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show as the governing body celebrates its 200th birthday.
Nearly 8500 animals will participate across 12 days, starting Friday, with tens of thousands of other entries in competitions judging everything from rats to roosters and reptiles.
As part of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW’s 200-year celebrations, there is also a competition for best period-themed young horse riders and pooch owners, featuring costumes from the 1800s.
The show’s General Manager of Agriculture, Murray Wilton, told AAP the event remains true to its roots.
“We’re doing today what we did 200 years ago but we’re doing it on a much grander scale,” he said.
“It all started with a group of farmers who thought that their livestock were better than their neighbours’, and it grew from there.”
The wet weather has failed to put a dampener on proceedings, with competitors travelling from all over Australia and tickets in high demand, he added.
Among the history on display is a 3D timeline using produce to represent the Royal Agricultural Society over the past two centuries, as well as a vintage tractor display.
A parade of horses, carriages, stockmen and machinery will wind its way from the show’s birthplace in Parramatta in Sydney’s west to its current home at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday morning.
High school students Yassie Jones and Madison Bailey are among the competitors who have travelled from Tamworth in country NSW to compete in the junior beef cattle parader’s competition.
“It helps you with a lot of organisational skills, making sure you’re out in the ring with your cow prepped, ready to go … making sure you know what you’re doing, what the judge is looking for,” 14-year-old Madison said.
Mr Wilton said educating visitors and competitors is a highlight of the show.
“With all our competitions our judges will provide feedback to everybody that’s entered so they can improve their livestock, they can improve their wine, their cheese, their food products, their wool, their grains,” he said.
Despite no COVID-19 restrictions being in place to limit crowd numbers, the RAS has chosen to cap the show at 80,000 visitors daily to give people a less crowded experience.
Previous shows have exceeded 120,000 visitors.
The show’s official opening on Saturday includes a touch of royalty, with Princess Anne doing the honours.
The show runs until April 19.