Show patrons won’t see any horses this year, but they will get to pat some big cats.
Show patrons won’t see any horses this year, but they will get to pat some big cats. Nigel Wright

Ipswich Show bosses turf horses for wild animals

APRIL FOOLS

IT HAS been kept under wraps for months, but the secret is now out for the 2016 Ipswich Show.

Vice-presidents Rusty Thomas and Darren Zanow have just signed off on one of the most innovative entertainment packages ever to be presented in Ipswich.

"Shows are all about introducing animals and agriculture to the general public, so that is the theme we have honed in on for this year," Mr Thomas said.

"Darren has some strong connections with Dubbo Zoo and we have used that to secure some of their key animal exhibits.

"So don't be alarmed when you come through the show gates on May 13-15 when you hear the roar of lions and leopards. In all we have four semi-trailers arriving with the exhibits which will be housed in special pens in the middle of the arena."

The only drawback on the wild animal exhibition is that the horse riding events have had to be cancelled.

"When you invest $60,000 in bringing exotic animals to Ipswich some things have to fall by the wayside, but that's the way it is," Mr Zanow said.

"I am sure that patrons would rather pat baby leopards than side-step horse and cattle droppings," he said.

"We needed to change the entire way we looked at the show and yes we have had many complaints, but you can't please everyone.

"I have been told that the horse riders will be demonstrating so we have employed extra security from the Gold Coast."

"We know this will be a huge hit with the public and next year we will be moving the show to a one-day event and we believe that April 1 is the perfect day, because that's the day when the unexpected can happen."

It's understood that when the show vice-presidents unveiled their plans to the committee they received a standing ovation for their innovative idea.



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