Page 9 - The Outdoor Showman January - March 2022
P. 9

  Keith Mackley Reflections
What a wonderful sight
 Keith Mackley’s reflections on Natimuk Show, Wimmera Agricultural Society and Victorian Agricultural Shows Ltd.
“What a wonderful sight”.
Keith said he can still hear Ralph Westendorf - President of the Wimmera Agricultural Societies’ at the annual WASA meeting 1991 saying “Our small corner of the world has been made richer by the work and example of
the Natimuk Agricultural and Pastoral Society”. Natimuk’s first Autumn
Show was held March 26th, 1988.
It was very different to what it is today. Water and shade were needed instead of tractors to pull horse floats out of the mud which were required when the Natimuk Show was previously held in August before the Adelaide Show.
In 1962 Keith received a phone call from the then President Malcom Sanders asking him if he would be steward in the horse section of the Natimuk Show, which he did.
Keith got the job of arranging judges and stewards for the horse section because of his contacts in Melbourne and the fact other Society members competed in Arena events in those days.
In 1963 Keith recalls Bill Sudholz
saying “Just look at that Keith. What
a wonderful sight” as they were both looking out over the arena full of horses and horse floats parked everywhere.
The next year Keith joined the Natimuk Agricultural and Pastoral Society
and became a committee member. Keith served 2 terms as President of the Society, Vice President several times. In 1992 he was presented with
a Life Membership of the Society.
He remembers meeting Bill Sudholz the then President of Natimuk A &
P Society in Melbourne at a crop competition meeting. A short time later Keith took over Bills task of attending the Victorian Agricultural Show Societies’ meetings in Melbourne.
Keith remembers the Show Day Announcer was Ray Smith and he was also the Ring Master for the Arena, positions he held from 1961 to 1996.
In the early days Show Jumping and Trots were very popular arena events. Ray was famous for mounting an unknown Show horse to catch a horse and sulky that had lost it driver.
Keith’s favourite attractions were the Honda Farm Bike Competition, and the Dog Jump competition, run at local Shows with State Finals held at the Royal Melbourne Show.
Wimmera machinery Field days.
Historically the motor bike replaced the farm horse for the younger generation.
A past State Champion of the Honda Ag Bike Competition from the region was Steve Rich. Steve has volunteered his services to assist in running the Natimuk 130th Show and combined 15Oth Back to Natimuk Celebration Ag Bike competition. The Competition will be held at 4 pm on Show day. There
is a prize pool of $200. 1st $100, 2nd $75.00 and 3rd $25. Entries will be taken on the day prior to the event.
A favourite of Keith’s was attending Farm Sunday at the Royal Melbourne Show. Where he was responsible
for state finals of the Honda Ag
Bike and Dog jumping competitions. Originally it was a large arena covered with all things country.
The day was attended by hundreds of country and city people alike.
In 2002 Keith was presented with the President’s medal from the Royal Melbourne Show.
Keith was made an Honorary Councillor of the Victorian Agricultural Shows Association then known as VASA in 1993.
Keith chaired the 1990 meeting with VAS and the Showmen’s Guild to discuss and finally sign an agreement between the two parties. He then took over responsibility of the Attractions subcommittee of VAS and became the local delegate for the Showmen’s Guild.
In 2002 Keith was presented with the President’s medal from the Royal Melbourne Show.
Keith was made an Honorary Councillor of the Victorian Agricultural Shows
Association then known as VASA in 1993.
Keith clocked
up 57 years at
Local, Wimmera
and State levels
of the Victorian
Agricultural Shows before retiring. Annette Heard is the current Chief Horse Steward for Natimuk and would welcome anyone to contact her if they would
be available to assist with the Natimuk horse events now or in the future.
Keith said he is looking forward to attending the Natimuk 130th Show and being a spectator and reconnecting
with old and new acquaintances. Today we have a new arena fence which has been the Natimuk A & P Societies 150th Back to Natimuk project. People have purchased individual pickets or panels and have had their name placed on them. This is an ongoing project. I ask myself what Bill Sudholz would say if he were here today looking out over the arena.
“What a wonderful sight”.
Lois Trimble
From top: Natimuk Ag Bike Competition Keith Haustorfer, Keith Mackley – NAS Life Member, Arena with new fence and horses, Anette Head with Horses Wimmera Mail Times.

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