The first Margaret River Agricultural Show was held in Mr. T. Higgins’ paddock in 1929. Following that event the show was held on a site west of the railway station for several years. In 1934 and subsequent years, except for a lapse during the war years, the annual show has been held at Gloucester Park.
The society enjoyed the patronage of a former Premier and Governor of the state, Sir James Mitchell, since its inception until his death. Sir James was an ardent supporter of the district and performed the opening ceremony on most occasions during his lifetime. Since 1951 we were fortunate to have as Patron, Sir Stewart Bovell, until his death in 1999.
Many improvements have been made to the show from time to time. The Margaret River Society had the honour of inaugurating Olympic jumping to the South West, also in introducing the Champion Hunter of the South West. The parade of vehicles and farm machinery during the Grand Parade was a first by the Margaret River Society as a feature of its shows.
In recent years the society has consolidated its position as one of the major shows in the state.
With the assistance of a generous grant from the Margaret River-Busselton Farm Advisory Service and financial assistance from the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation, and the Shire Council, the society was able to construct its own office and meeting room at Gloucester Park.
Through the years, cattle, sheep and timber have provided the shire with its livelihood; now other developments are taking place. We have a flourishing wine industry, while other ventures include marron farming, mohair production, coloured sheep and vegetable growing. Increased membership for the Horsemen’s and the Polocrosse clubs mark an increased interest in horses and riding. Many crafts have revived, and the area is developing an ever-growing tourist potential.
Nowdays with a population of around 12,000 we have a two day show which features some new events including sheep dog trials and while due to footrot in the districts sheep have been taken out of the show our beef cattle competition has made a huge comback.
In 2003 we introduced a new childrens section which attracted over 500 entries. We hope this will continue to grow.
In all we have every reason to be proud of our district, and look forward to a bright future.