WINNER WINNER: Champion young poultry judge Heidi Eustace appraises a bird.
WINNER WINNER: Champion young poultry judge Heidi Eustace appraises a bird. Ebony Graveur

Heidi faces public-speaking fears at Gatton Show

THE concept is simple: Appraise poultry across three categories and explain your reasoning to the judges.

The category is new this year, with poultry judging being introduced across shows throughout Australia.

Heidi Eustace, 15, said she felt prepared for the task when she stepped up to the challenge on Saturday - but was nervous about public speaking.

"I was confident on the judging side but not so much on the speaking side,” Heidi said.

"The judging side is easy because I've grown up talking to judges.”

Despite her mixed feelings, the Year 10 student impressed the judges with her appraisals of birds across hard feather, soft feather and water fowl categories and nabbed the win.

"I was pretty close to what the judges put,” she said.

"You look for its feathering, colour, how clean it is and how it holds itself.”

She said the water fowl was the trickiest type to analyse.

"I don't really know much about them,” she said.

Heidi's family has more than 40 chickens, mostly of hard feather varieties.

Assessing the contestants, Kait Shultz and Jack Murphy said young judges were assessed on their appraisals and ability to explain their reasoning.

"You're looking for someone who has the ability to handle birds properly,” Mr Murphy said.

Ms Shultz said the key was in being able to justify.

"You could put them in any order but if you can't tell us why, then we don't know how you worked it out,” Ms Shultz said.

Click here for the full Gatton Show photo gallery.


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