School holidays, good weather and the introduction of an equestrian expo contributed to one of the best Farm World events on record, according to Lardner Park Events chief executive Mark Cockerell.
More than 57,000 people attended the four day farming and agricultural event.
But Mr Cockerell said it was the introduction of an equestrian expo to the program that certainly contributed to the overall success of this year’s event.
“The new equestrian expo was really well received,” he said.
Mr Cockerell said LPE events partnered with Randall Park Equestrian Centre who staged an excellent program of events for equestrian enthusiasts, utilising the new Baw Baw equestrian facility adjacent to Lardner Park.
He said the event was well supported by local pony and adult riding clubs, with strong entries in dressage and show jumping events.
Mr Cockerell said the school holiday dates for Farm World had proved successful in attracting many families to the event.
He said gate numbers were up 14 per cent on last year and it was one of the biggest crowds on record.
Mr Cockerell said the board would be looking at dates for next year’s event over the next month and continuing a school holiday calendar spot would certainly be one of the options considered.
Mr Cockerall said the level of sales and leads for exhibitors was positive considering the difficult seasonal conditions.
He said sales of big investment items such as machinery and cattle crushes were not as high as usual, but exhibitors experienced strong sales in general items such as chainsaws, sheds and motorbikes.
“They may not have made decisions to buy a product but they were putting it into their long term planning,” he said.
Mr Cockerell said functions including the women in agriculture, young farmers conference and agri-business luncheon were well attended.
Opening the agri-business luncheon on Friday, Lardner Park Events chairman Angela Betheras said Farm World was not possible without the support of so many organisations.
Ms Betheras said Farm World’s theme “Dairy, an industry on the move” highlighted the importance and focus on dairy businesses, products and innovation.