Bega Showgirl wins Sydney Royal title!

BRODIE Chester is the first winner from Bega in the history of The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl competition.

Ms Chester was presented the winner’s sash at a prestigious ceremony at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on Sunday following a gruelling day of interviews and judging.

She takes home a $10,000 cash prize and the coveted title of 2014 The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl. 

"It hasn't really sunk it yet, but it's pretty exciting!" Ms Chester said. 

"It's been a long week, I'm one of 16 state finalists who have been here since last Tuesday doing interviews and being judged on things like networking ability, public speaking, presentation and rural knowledge."

Ms Chester hasn't had a chance to catch her breath as she and runner-up Sally Newton are still at the Sydney Royal Easter Show performing official duties. 

Although winning the title is a highlight, Ms Chester said the friendships she's made with the finalists are just as special to her. 

"It's a great group of girls, they are just the best," she said. 

"Everyone's backgrounds and what they are studying are so varied, it's been good to meet everyone and it's definitely made it the most memorable week of my life."

Bega Agricultural, Pastoral and Horticultural Society president Norm Pearce was proud of Ms Chester and her achievements. 

“It’s definitely a good thing for Bega. 

“It will make a bit of publicity about the Bega Valley.

“There have been winners from our zone before, from places like Nimmitabel, and we have had finalists from Bega before, but this is our first winner since the competition started in 1962.

“It’s wonderful to put Bega on the map.” 

Mr Pearce congratulated Ms Chester on her win.

“It would have been a wonderful experience for her.

“Lots of the other girls there were doctors or civil engineers, but she’s a real farm girl.

“Her nickname was Cowgirl.

“She’s got natural speaking abilities; she made a really nice thank you speech.

“She is a real down to earth girl.”

Ms Chester moved to Bega Valley from Cootamundra 18 months ago.

She had been asked to compete for showgirl in previous years in Cootamundra, but had decided not to do it. 

This year was the first year she had entered the competition, making Cootamundra's loss Bega's gain.

"When I entered the Bega Showgirl competition I didn't even think I'd win that, and now here I am the Sydney winner," Ms Chester said.

"This is really unexpected!"

Celebrating the 52nd anniversary of the competition, the showgirl presentation was one of great tradition and prestige.

In 1962, 20 young ladies entered the very first showgirl competition, an event that now boasts over 500 entrants with more than 120 regional show societies participating in the esteemed contest.

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