Gunnedah Showgirl competition 2017

Sophie Clift has taken out the showgirl stakes and was named the 2017 Gunnedah Showgirl on Friday night.

Twenty-four-year-old Sophie was sashed by 2016 showgirl Bridie George at a ceremony at the art and photography pavilion at the Gunnedah Show.

Aspring teacher Sophie is the daughter of Arna and Robert Clift and entered the competition to “give back to the community that has given her so much”.

She is currently studying a Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education at the University of New England and works part-time at AMPS.

“I would like to thank the Gunnedah Show Society for hosting yet another amazing show, thanks to Rob and Anna Witts and mum and dad for a lot of work to make this happen,” Sophie said.

Thank you to the judges for making it an easy process and Pippi Beer – you’ve been amazing, without Pippi, there is no showgirl.”

Judges found it hard to choose between junior entrants, Haylee Murrell and Georgia Carrigan, and declared a tie, sashing both girls.

Sixteen-year-old Haylee is the daughter of Wendi and Nathan Murrell and a student at Gunnedah High. 

She entered showgirl to increase her confidence in public speaking and to “take advantage of a great opportunity” provided to young women in the community.

Seventeen-year-old Georgia is the daughter of Gina and Graeme Carrigan, of Boggabri and a student at Calrossy Anglican School in Tamworth.

Georgia hopes to complete a degree in business law, with a long-term goal of working in water fund investments.

Judge Rod Browne congratulated the entrants.

“We did have a limited number of candidates this year so we thought the judging would be fairly straight forward,” Mr Browne said.

“But in the juniors category it was extremely difficult, two outstanding candidates, both worthy of winning.

“It was difficult.

“All three girls performed brilliantly in the interviews and as you can see tonight they are brilliantly presented,” he said.

“Congratulations to the girls, they are outstanding candidates.”

The showgirls were announced by Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson.

“I want to thank our three showgirls, the junior showgirl and our senior, they really are ambassors for gunnedah and for our region,” Mr Anderson said.

“We really congratulate Sophie Clift – thank you for putting up your hand and for what you do for the show society, we need young people like you.”

The 2017 judges were Nancy Farquhar, Rod Browne and Carolyn Bishop.

The 2016 winners were Bridie George (senior) and Annerley Fitzsimmons (junior).