Sydney Royal Easter Show 2016: Program of the best events

Royal Easter Show showbag preview

Children put this year's Royal Easter Show showbags to the test.

The Sydney Royal Easter Show runs from March 17 to March 30 at Sydney Olympic Park. Gates open at 9am, pavilions at 9.30am. Evening entertainment concludes at 9pm, the showbag hall is open until 9.30pm and rides are open "until late".

Discount ShowLink tickets are available online for $37 (adult); $22 (child); $27 (concession) and $99.50 (family) plus fees. Tickets are discounted after 4pm. Discounted ride coupons are also available online.

Here's a guide to some highlights each day at the show.

Demi Simmonds and Holly Crews enjoy their showbags.
Demi Simmonds and Holly Crews enjoy their showbags. Photo: Brendon Thorne

Day 1: March 17

Young Auctioneers Competition: How's your diction? Finalists will auction prize-winning Sydney Royal Steer Show stock and will be judged on speed, clarity and livestock value knowledge.

Sydney Royal Cage Bird Show: The African lovebird, with a variety of colours from blue and grey to yellow and striking red, is this year's featured bird. Cage bird competitions began at the show around 1869.

District Exhibit Display People's choice judging: More than 50,000 pieces of fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses, wool and other produce are crafted in the famed district exhibits. You have until 11.30am to cast your vote.

District exhibits are always popular.

District exhibits are always popular.

Day 2: March 18

District Exhibits Awards Presentation: These displays began in 1876 and 50 judges will make their call today.

Best dairy goat: Will it be the Saanen from Switzerland, the Anglo-Nubian originally bred in England or the Australian Melaan?


Horse - Pumpkin Snatch: One competitor drives the horse, the other jumps on and off to collect pumpkins.

Day 3: March 19

Official opening ceremony: The Royal Agricultural Society of the NSW Patron, Governor David Hurley, officially opens the show. Government House, the governor's residence, features among exhibits this year in the honey show with honey from the grounds and gardens.

Grand Parade: Competition winners parade around Spotless Stadium in a celebration of rural Australia.

Woodchopping - Ladies International Relay: An all-American female team will compete for the first time against the Australians and New Zealanders.

Day 4: March 20

Showgirl Presentation: Since the first Showgirl crown was awarded to Margaret Mackay of Dungog in 1962, bright young women have competed for this award which judges them on confidence, rural knowledge, ambition and a passion to represent country Australia.

Woodchop - World Championship Sawing Contest (double-handed): The "Wimbledon of woodchopping" sees 65 separate events attracting about 200 competitors. All aspire to the success of David Foster, who won 1000 championship titles.

Rural Achievers: Eight finalists compete in the Rural Achiever Award, which aims to acknowledge the achievements of young people who make a contribution to their local community and to rural Australia via an oration.

Cattle are prepared for judging.

Cattle are prepared for judging. Photo: Peter Rae

Day 5: March 21

Bonnie Yard Dog demonstrations: Watch these highly skilled dogs keep a mob of sheep on track through a series of obstacles and drills.

Sydney Royal Rat & Mouse Show: This competition attracts about 250 entries, with 11 breeds and 70 classes and has been a feature of the show since 2003.

Cattle: Hordern Trophy for the Supreme Beef Breed, RAS Supreme Interbreed Heifer, Urquhart Trophy for Supreme Beef Animal. This is one of the most prestigious awards at the show and the value of winning a Sydney Royal ribbon can lead to record sale prices for the winning exhibitors.

Day 6: March 22

Pennsbury High School Marching Band Field Show: The choreographed American marching band plays in Spotless Stadium.

Australian Citizenship Ceremony: 194 conferees - one for every year the show has been held - will take an oath to receive Australian citizenship.

Sydney Royal Rabbit Show: Some 250 exhibits among the Fur, Rex, Lop and Fancy breeds will compete for prizes, as they have since the 1800s.

The 728kg pumpkin.

The 728kg pumpkin. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Day 7: March 23

World Championship camp draft final: Competitors must cut a beast out of a small mob and direct it around obstacles. Simone Harvey, a six-time winner of the Australian Bushmans Campdraft, is up against 14 men in the competition.

Wool Auction: Last year, more than $17 million worth of wool was sold over two days at the live auction, held in conjunction with Australian Wool Exchange.

Sheep - Objective Measurement Class for Merinos: Merinos are judged on visual characteristics, fleece type and on their subjective measurements including weight and data collected by scanning the sheep with an ultrasound to determine fat depth and muscle.

Day 8: March 24

Poley Saddle Buckjump: The country's best bull riders, steer wrestlers, bareback riders and barrel racers will be performing each night as part of the Sydney Royal Rodeo Series. In 2016, rodeo will include a poley saddle buckjump competition over two nights, where riders use an Australian-style saddle while keeping their balance and trying to crack a whip.

Sydney Royal Poultry & Pigeon Show: The poultry feature breed is the Hamburg, which originated in Britain in the early 1500s.

Tree felling competition in 2015.

The tree-felling competition in 2015.

Day 9: March 25

Woodchopping - World Championship Tree Felling Contest: You will need to get a seat early as this one of the most popular woodchopping events at the show. Keep an eye out for Mitchell Hewitt, who is going for his 10th World Championship title - starting 130 seconds after the first competitor.

Best Baby Puppy of the Day: Baby puppies of three to six months will compete for the first time. They will be judged each day.

Man from Snowy River – meet and greets: At Snowy River Station you'll find the horse experience where you can have a photo taken with a photo with your favourite filly or stallion. At 3pm, the secrets to training the stars of the evening entertainment, The Man From Snowy River production, will be revealed.

Day 10: March 26

Young Farmer Challenge – State final: Young farmers showcase their expertise in a series of physical on-farm challenges. Mixed teams of four will need to impress the judges with their animal handling, fencing, tractor driving, fire fighting, first aid and heavy lifting.

Manny McCarthy Memorial 375mm World Championship Underhand: Logs must be completely severed into two parts by axes or saws. The competitor that severs the log first, without breaking any of the rules, is the winner. This is the largest competition of its type in the world.

Heritage Gallery: Explore the history of the show and learn the stories. The first meeting of the members of the Agricultural Society of NSW was held at Walker's Inn, Parramatta, on July 16, 1822.

The 2015 Pee Wee champion Isaac Bramich,   aged 8 from Golden Valley, Tasmania

The 2015 Pee Wee champion Isaac Bramich, from Golden Valley, Tasmania. Photo: Steven Siewert

Day 11: March 27

AWPA Australian Whip Cracking Championships: It's a full day of action as the youngest in the pee wee division and some of the world's best work their way through cracking routines.

Flower and Garden - Carnivorous Plants: The Venus Fly Trap, Sundew, Nepenthes and Sarracenia will be judged in this competition. Don't miss the giant pumpkins while you're there - last year's record-holder weighed in at 728kg.

Troy Cassar-Daley: This living treasure of country music and rural Australia has 37 Golden Guitars, four ARIAs, two APRA Country Song of the year awards, nine Deadlys and four CMAA Entertainer of the Year awards.

Lorrane Boyd Carla with champion Standard Poodle last year.

Lorraine Boyd with champion standard poodle Carla last year. Photo: Ben Rushton

Day 12: March 28

Best Dog in Show: There are 4000 entries vying for awards. In 1895 there was a class for "Any other variety". Exhibitor Albert Andrews entered Jack, described as "a dingo caught at Bega".

Woodchopping - 375mm World Championship Standing Block: This incorporates the world title event.

Best Huacaya Alpaca of Show: Alpacas are native to the high Andes Mountain countries of Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. The Huacaya is determined by its soft fleece with a natural crimp.

Day 13: March 29

Best Boer Goat of Show: Boer goats were introduced to Sydney Royal in 1997, and have been a crowd favourite ever since. Look out for the 2015 Grand Champion Micathel Oheo.

Dairy Interbreed Championship: Six breeds of dairy cattle recognised by the RAS of NSW compete here. There are 400 nominations. They produce 18,000 litres of milk in the Working Dairy through the show.

Sydney Royal Frog and Reptile Show - Lizards and Frogs: Non-venomous snakes, lizards, and frogs will be judged.

Eyes on the slide on discount day.

Eyes on the slide on discount day. Photo: Steven Siewert

Day 14: March 30 (Kids' day)

Discount: Child ShowLink tickets are just $12.50 on the last day of the show and ride coupons are 2-for-1 until 5pm.

Dog Agility Trials: Dogs run up ramps, jump through hoops and skim through weavers in record pacing times.

Evening fireworks spectacular: The Colours of the Outback is the theme of this year's fireworks display.

Source: The Sydney Royal Easter Show