Rockhampton Miss Showgirls to go on to the next round
ALTON Downs woman Lauren Reabel has swapped a saddle for a sash.
On Thursday, Lauren was awarded Rural Ambassador winner of the Rockhampton Show.
Growing up on the land, Lauren, 29, generally competes in the show circuit on horseback having already competed in Theodore, Monto, Callide Valley (Biloela), Ridgelands and Emerald shows this year.
But she didn't compete with her horse in the Rocky Show this year, wanting to put her hand to something different.
"As someone who is normally in her breeches out in centre ring show-jumping it was definitely a unique experience compared to my previous experiences with agricultural shows,” Lauren said.
"It was lovely meeting the other rural ambassador entrants and the show girl entrants and we all worked together to support the show society with what was needed. It was a little daunting talking on the microphone but it was all part of the experience and everyone was very supportive.
"I definitely felt I gained confidence throughout the experience.”
One of the most valuable lessons Lauren learnt was the endless hours the show society and the team of volunteers put in during the event.
"I definitely have a new appreciation for all that goes into an agricultural show, particularly one the size of Rockhampton,” she said.
”I actually only said the other day that as a show-jumper I was often not a fan of the breaks in centre ring, we often just want to get on with our program, however, watching the crowd from centre ring get a kick out of the sky divers and the utes on peoples day, I can see the show is about providing entertainment for all members of the community.
"I can even say myself I have been guilty of not truly appreciating all sections of the show.
"Rockhampton Show really has so many sections that anyone can enter and be a part of the showcases at the show.
Lauren will move on to compete in the Central Queensland sub-chamber finals in Biloela later this month.
In future, Lauren hopes to get involved in the animal and nutrition industry, with contacts in Rural Ambassador helping her.
"I would like to continue to use this experience to network with other like-minded people in the agricultural sector,” she said.
"I am excited to move to the next stage and I hope this further improves my confidence in public speaking and interviews which are valuable life skills.”
Lauren was proudly sponsored by Equine Vit&Min.
Miss Showgirl winner was Jordan Stanley, who entered to gain a holistic planning of what was involved in the show.
Jordan is very passionate about helping the community and said Miss Showgirl was a great opportunity to get involved in an event that brings so many people of all walks of life together.
"It was an experience that definitely allowed me to get out of my comfort zone but also a very positive experience where I've made friendships with a great group of all very empowering girls, " she said.
"It was really fun to get involved and be part of a really joyful day that celebrated rural Rockhampton.
"I'm really glad I decided to enter and would highly recommend more girls enter next year as it is truly a great experience.”
The Rockhampton born and bred woman and Rockhampton Grammar School graduate has fond memories of the show growing up.
She remembers it being such a fun and family orientated event. "I've always really loved animals so my favourite part as a child and still to this day would be meeting the animals at the show such as the goats, ponies and other animals that they happen to have at the petting zoo,” Jordan said.
The youth worker at Carinity Education Rockhampton, who she was sponsored by, hopes to see other youth get involved in the Rockhampton Show in the future.
"It brings people together from both the town and country which keeps the 145-year-old tradition going,” she said.
"It is also a really good opportunity for people to experience and learn about our agriculture while having fun at the same time.”
Winner: Jordan Stanley
Runner Up: Vanessa Jarrett
Winner: Lauren Reabel
Runner Up: Amy Roylance
Junior Miss Showgirl:
Junior Rural Ambassador: