Competing at the Jamestown Show is a true family affair for Mark and Claire Smallacombe and their children Brad and Aimee.
You’ll find Mark and Brad at the Poultry section with 50 or so birds and Claire and Aimee at the Horses in Action, plus Smallacombe exhibits of eggs, flowers, artwork, mud pies, and cooking in the Stacey Pavillion.
Even the family’s dwarf mini-lop rabbit Maggie and miniature dachshund Waldo line up in the Pet competition.
Jamestown Show preparations begin well before the October Long Weekend event, with birds, rabbits and dogs washed and blow-dried, birds’ claws scrubbed clean and combs oiled, and horses washed, plaited, groomed and even make up applied.
Claire says competing with horses requires commitment all year round, with many hours of riding, training and educating horse and rider so they can perform in the competition on the day.
But Claire and Mark say the sense of achievement and personal satisfaction gained from successful exhibits makes the family effort a very rewarding experience.
Being involved in the show as a family also provides an opportunity for us to spend valuable time together.Mark Smallacombe
“Being involved in the show as a family also provides an opportunity for us to spend valuable time together,” Mark says.
“We believe it’s important to make an effort for both us and our children to support the local show, so it continues for many more years in the future following the long, strong tradition of family generations contributing before our time.”
Claire’s passion for pony club and horse riding was nurtured by her parents, Welsh Pony breeders Chris and Christine Boyce.
She competed at shows around SA in horse riding events and in 1990 was SA's representative in an Australian Pony Club Eventing team that competed in New Zealand. When Claire moved to Jamestown with husband Mark in 1999, horses continued to be an important part of her life, with their 10ha property providing plenty of space for stables and horse-riding paddocks.
It’s a passion shared with her daughter Aimee who has been riding in showing and hacking events since she was two and a half years old. Mark’s interest in the Jamestown Show began almost by accident when his first exhibit, a Rhode Island Red hen bird from his backyard coop topped its class.
Since then, Mark has been a loyal competitor and a very keen breeder, striving to achieve show standards for 15 different breeds. Mark says their greatest show honor has been when Dark Barred Plymouth Rock Rooster won Champion Bird of the Jamestown Show in 2015 from a field of 500 exhibits.
Brad shares Mark’s interest in Poultry, incubating and hatching the birds and helping show the birds at events. In addition to the Jamestown Show, the family has exhibited at the Royal Adelaide Show and many Mid North shows.