About the Event
The Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society Inc., on behalf of our Sheep Show Committee, is pleased to announce our 2023 Victorian Sheep Show will be back & the sate will be announced soon!
After the success of the Victorian Sheep Show, supported by Ballarat Grammar, in 2021 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the BAPS Sheep Committee look forward to bringing you another great event in 2023. The event will continue to celebrate excellence in stud sheep breeds through the Victorian Sheep Show.
The 2023 event will also include...
a farming expo providing a platform for machinery, equipment and service displays, together with plenty of activities to entertain the family. Local food and wine vendors will also be added to the program to create a real celebration of fibre, food, fashion, and farming. Come and join us!
Extracts taken from ‘Golden Showtime – The history of the Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society 1856-2006, Phil Roberts’.
The first Ballarat sheep show held on 13-14 September 1876 was reported as of the very highest order of merit. Competition among many categories of Merino, Leicester, Cotswold, and cross breed sheep was held. Most of the leading Western District sheep farmers took part.
Once a foothold was gained the event grew rapidly and in 1877 the Ballarat event was advertised as the grand champion sheep show and had 475 sheep in competition and 1872 sheep for sale.
In the early 1880’s the amount of donated prizes rose to more than 600 pounds attracting inter-colonial as well as Victorian pastoralists. The very valuable prizes, often intricate and ornamentally decorated pieces of silver plate, were highly sought after by well-to-do pastoralists.
The Sheep Shows took place each year by Lake Wendouree from 1876 to 1932 and continued at the Creswick Road showgrounds except during World War Two. Among the larger societies Ballarat was unusual in holding two separate shows as most societies made the sheep section part of their annual show.
By the 1970s the pattern of the shows changed with the introduction of artificial fibres, the increased importance of fat lambs, moves to more diversification in sheep breeding (especially among British breeds) and a more efficient and flexible transportation of sheep. Merino ram sales declined due to increasing direct sales from stud properties; however the society made changes by making it a one-day show from 1972, introducing innovations such as colourful spinning and handicraft displays, Angora mohair sales and by concentrating more on Poll Dorset, Polwarth, Southdown and Suffolk sheep. In 2019 the Ballarat Sheep Show became the Victorian Sheep Show and remains an important fixture for graziers.