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With a demolition derby, heart stopping motorcross,
sideshow alley and flying pigs, the 2010 ActewAGL
Royal Canberra Show is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
By Claire Mitchell
It takes just six seconds for eight specially
trained racing pigs to hurl themselves
down a 50-metre track.
Every year arenas are packed out
across the country, with fans eager to see
this entertaining display of rip-snorting
As if the racing isn't a big enough, the
crowds are then treated to a performance
by two diving pigs.
"People absolutely love it," according to
Tom Vandeleur, organiser of the pig racing
and diving event.
Tom and his family have been touring
their show around Australia for the past 16
years, with February's ActewAGL Royal
Canberra Show to be a highlight on their
"We have eight racing pigs and two
diving pigs," Tom said.
"They take about a month to train and
then they're ready to go."
The disciplined pigs walk down to the
starting gates in an orderly fashion, are
fitted in their racing colours and then wait
for the starting whistle.
While any breed could be taught to
perform, Tom uses large whites for his show.
They are kept in quarantine (which
is why the swine flu outbreak hasn't
prevented them from touring) and travel in
a 40-foot air conditioned trailer.
The busy stars usually fit in three or four
shows each day, with a couple of hours
break in between to ensure it's not too
stressful for them.
"We do all the major shows across the
country," he said.
"It's a whole family outfit --- myself, my
wife Kath, my son Michael and his wife
"We're on the road five or six months of
the year and then it's back to the farm for
ATTRACTION: Thousands are expected to attend the 2010 ActewAGL Royal Canberra Show.
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