It is not everyday Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull turns up at your local agricultural show, but that’s exactly what happened at Nowra, and for one little boy it was the chance meeting of a lifetime.
Mulligan Goodall, 7, from Bomaderry, arrived at the Nowra Show with his mum, dad, his two little brothers and of course Wacky, for his first appearance ever in the show ring on Friday.
And what a show it was.
“Two weeks earlier he asked me who rode in the Nowra Show and I told him a few names of people I know, and in a moment of enthusiasm he asked if he could ride,” Mulligan’s father Henry Goodall said.
“I said ‘sure, but make sure you ride every day for two weeks’.
“He had his helmet hung up on the bedpost at night time ready to go in the morning and he rode every day after school.”
The first class they entered was a led class where Wacky took out supreme champion Shetland pony to the applause from joyous crowd who had gathered around the ring enthralled by the cute combination.
“We were encouraged into the Shetland pony class and he won champion and supreme champion led pony,” Mr Goodall said.
“The spotted pony won three ribbons in one go and four trifle dishes – which is what every seven-year-old wants.
“He rode in a saddle I was given in 1974 for my third birthday.”
Ringmaster John Bennett invited Mulligan to join the group of riders who were headed to meet the Prime Minister.
“He asked me what the Prime Minister was and I told him he was the captain or the boss of Australia, he was pretty unfazed and casual about it,” Mr Goodall said.
The Prime Minister shook hands with the little horseman, asked him his name, his pony’s name and where he came from, before congratulating him on his success in the show ring, telling him “I like your work”.
Unfortunately, Mulligan’s grandparents didn’t make it to the show to see the special moment.
“Mum rang that night and told me she thought Mulligan was going in the barrell racing, but that she had just seen him on the evening news with the Prime Minister,” Mr Goodall laughed.