Darren Absolon (left) with Sophie, Marilyn and Graham Absolon and Steph Cooke at the Showground’s newest building.

The eastern side of the Cootamundra Showgrounds which caters for holding sheep, cattle, horses and ponies has improved beyond recognition thanks to building upgrades and replacements costing $218,000 since the last Show in 2019.

The Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke, was at the show on Saturday to officially open the new multi-purpose livestock and equestrian facility.

The upgrades include animal loading ramps, safety gates, rails, livestock tie-up panels, and a wash bay along with an electrical fit-out, bringing to the community an undercover livestock facility that they have not had in the past. Ms Cooke also opened a just-completed building comprising a series of rooms providing a kitchen, office and storage space.

The new building is to be named “The Absolon Rooms” in honour of the Absolom family who have been stalwarts of the Cootamundra Show Society.

Show president Geoff Larsen said a large new cattle and sheep shed had replaced a smaller shed the Show Society had built several years ago.

“We decided to pull it down and replace it with a new and much larger shed, and Steph Cooke supported us in obtaining grant money,” Geoff said.

“Graham Absolon put his hand up and offered to handle the plans, specifications and council approvals and his son Darren, who is a builder, offered to build it and these new rooms for us, so we were very fortunate to have two people right beside us who were ready to go and get the job done.

“The building is not just for the cattle section but for anybody that uses the ground, including the Trotting Club, the Pony Club, and Riding for the Disabled.

“All the buildings in the area are designed to be multi-purpose so that more than one organisation gets the benefit.”

Mr Larsen said the grants had also enabled a roof over the horse stables and there had been some minor improvements to the shearing shed.

However the shearing shed still needed a major upgrade, and he said the Show Society was also supporting the building of a cottage to provide permanent accommodation for the caretaker, who currently lives in a caravan.

“We are extremely grateful for the conscientious work Andrew does in keeping the Showground in such excellent condition,” Geoff said.

Ms Cooke said the new up-to-date Absolon Rooms replaced an old weatherboard building that was no longer fit for purpose.

“It’s really important for exhibitors to have first-class facilities when they come here,” she said. “They deserve it, given how much effort they go to bring their stock here.” “The Absolon Rooms will support all the other things that are happening nearby.”