The Keith and Tintinara District Show Society is a voluntary based group who facilitates the use of the Keith Showgrounds Complex which has the ability to be hired in its entirety or specific buildings and coordinates local and touring community events and functions.

The Show Society runs an annual Country Agricultural Show event, incorporating

  • Regional Horse Events
  • Local Motorbike/Motorcross Events
  • Agricultural & Indoor exhibits/competitions
  • Agricultural Machinery displays
  • Visiting Performing artists eg. Music, Clowns, etc
  • Yard Dog Competition
  • Sheaf Tossing Competition
  • Speed Shear Competition
  • Lawn Mower Tractor Pull or Vintage Tractor Pull Competitions
  • Regional & Local Trade Stalls
  • Food and Bar Facilities
  • Live Bands
  • Entertainment through from 9am to 10pm
  • Side Show Alley
  • And other displays or events related to the specific theme of the Annual Show to be determined annually

The Show Society also runs the Diesel and Dirt Derby each year in March/April which features a round of the Australian Tractor Pullers Association National Championships, Australia’s only Header Demolition Derby,  Moto X events, Ute Shows, Lawnmower Racing and many more events for an action packed day.

Provides access to the show ground facility for the use not on Show Day for the following:

  • Overnight campers – temporary/adhoc
  • The Keith Pony Club (which has regular rallies)
  • The Keith Basketball Club
  • The Keith Scouts Group
  • Keith Apex Club
  • Annual Merino Breeders Field Day
  • Keith Table Tennis Club
  • South East Anglers
  • Campdraft Association ( which host an annual campdraft)
  • Pigeon Club
  • Floral Art Group
  • Keith Art Group
  • South East Dance Group
  • Keith Motorcycle Club
  • Storage facilities for the CFS
  • Other organisations who apply to use the showgrounds from time to time

Ensures the facilities are clean and maintained in accordance with current legislative requirements.

Keith Show History

 Compiled by Alan Morcom from the Border Chronicle 1912 – 1950 and the Border Downs Minute Book 1913-1930, held by the National Trust.

On July 12th 1913, a public meeting chaired by Mr. J B Makin was held to form a show committee to start the Border Downs Keith Show.

At that meeting the rules from the Tatiara Show were adopted with several amendments. Membership was set at 5/- for a member and a lady and 10/6 for a member and 2 ladies. Members were to be levied an extra 2/6 to get the show off the ground.

Members of the first committee were:

President – JB Makin, Secretary – S Hantke, W Graves, G Witmitz, E Crozier, C Mives, H Marsh, CH Mier, AJG Gurner, J Helling, AW Shannon, J Lock, H Pearson, WH Morcom, WF Aberle, W Fullwood, S Makin, A Schultz, AV Thompson, K McMichael, E Hutchings, WG Gill, TW Dall, AF Aberle, JD Barclay, J MacIntyre, M Torr, F Packer, H Williams, W Davis, W Kennett, H Hamlyn, N Graves, H Burns, L Redman and FW Schultz.

 The Border Downs Agricultural, Horticultural and Floral Society, held its first show on Wednesday 25th March 1914.

A balance of 16 pounds 17/- was in the bank after all expenses were paid.

President J.B. Makin

Secretary Sydney C Reed Hantke

The show was opened by the premier of SA the Hon A.H Peak. Also in attendance was Mr. J Livingstone, MHR.

In January 1915 a public meeting was called to se if the show should go on. After much discussion it was decided that it should be run.

 2nd Annual Show Wednesday 31st March 1915

Featuring the Keith Brass Band.

Big prize for the Best Lady Driver with a First Prize of 10/6.

Show opened by His Excellency the Governor, who congratulated the organizers on their organization as many shows were being cancelled because of drought and war.

President Mr. W.G Graves

Secretary Sydney C Reed Hantke

3rd Annual Border Downs Keith Show Wednesday March 22nd 1916.

 This was a turbulent year with a war at hand. Mr. Sydney Hantke resigned to join the Army, (May 21st 1915). At a special meeting held on February 1st 1916, Mr. E.A Fulwood also resigned as secretary stating that he didn’t have the time to do the job properly. Mr. L Redman was elected in his place. It was decided to cancel the main show that was scheduled for Wednesday March 22nd 1916 and just hold a Horse Show. That show went ahead and included Horses in Action, grain, wool, sheep dog trials and school work.

President Mr. WG Graves.

Secretary L Redman

4th Annual Show Wednesday March 28th 1917

 Full front page advert for the show appeared in The Border Chronicle Friday 2nd and Friday 9th March.

General Exhibition Steward Mr. W. Morcom

President Mr. A W Shannon

Secretary HR Pomeroy

5th Annual Show Wednesday 27th March 1918 

Star Attraction MR. Edward Reeves. (Popular Entertainer)

Special Rail Excursion fares available from Naracoorte and Murray Bridge- return tickets to last for one week.

Mr. JB. Makin of “Mount Monster” was the principle sheep and wool prize winner. After this show the society was 20 pounds in debt having taken a loan of 25 pounds.

President Mr. A W Shannon

Secretary Mr. W. A. Crouch

6th Annual Show Wednesday March 26th 1919

This event featured a Grand Concert and convenient train schedules for visiting patrons. The show was opened by Mr. J. Livingstone, MHR and Mr. V.G. Petherick, MP. They commented on the outstanding exhibits of grain and chaff .The society had 68 financial members at this time.

President Mr. J.B. Makin

Secretary Mr. H.V. Gregory

7th Annual Show Wednesday March 24th 1920 

The train ran late so the show opening was delayed. All returned soldiers were given full members privileges.

President Mr. J.B. Makin

Secretary Mr. H.V. Gregory

8th Annual Show Wednesday March 16th 1921

150 Guineas was offered in total prize money with 21 guineas for Special Show Jumping.

Prize Winners for Dogs: Rough Haired Sheep Dog- Mr. T.W. Cook, Smooth Haired Sheep Dog- Mr. S.R.B Makin, Staghound Mr. T.N. Skinner, Greyhound Mr. C. Nash, Fox Terrier Mr. Ray Guerin, Pomeranian Mrs. Smith,

Patrons of the show – Hon. J. Livingstone, MHR, Sir Lancelot Stirling, Hon. John Cowan, Mr. P Reidy, MP, Mr. V.G Petherick, MP.

President Mr. J.B. Makin

Secretary Mr. L.H. Densley

9th Annual Show Wednesday March 15th 1922.

V.G. Petherick, MP opened the show, even though it was in the middle of a long, dry spell and the conditions were dry and dusty it was still very well attended by over 300 people. The Border Chronicle Rep had to leave early to catch his train back to Bordertown. Mr. J.B Makin, Mrs. Syd Makin, Mr. W.H Morcom are made Life Members. Entry Fee 10/6.

President Mr. J.B. Makin

Secretary Mr. H.C. Nagel

10thAnnual Show Wednesday March 14th 1923 

A large number of visitors came to this show because the railways put on a special goods train with passenger accommodation and a special rail pass for the show.

Mr. P. Morcom broke his shoulder when his mount fell during the show jumping.

The grapes at this year’s show were outstanding.

Some visitors complained that they couldn’t easily get a cup of tea; the show committee would rectify this problem at future shows.

President Mr. J.B. Makin

Secretary Mr. H.C. Nagel 

11th Annual Show March 12th 1924 

A large marquee was set up on the grounds to cater for lunch and afternoon tea, all the proceeds from the sale of the refreshments was to go to The Tatiara Soldiers Memorial Hospital Bordertown.

It was noted there was only one entry in the Pig Section, a beautiful baconer entered by Mr. B.H. Kennett.

Entry Fees: Children 1/6, Adults 7/6, Cars 2/6, Members & Lady 10/6, Members, 2 Ladies + Free entries 21/-

President Mr. J.B. Makin

Secretary Mr. HC. Nagel 

12th Annual Show Wednesday September 30th 1925 

After much discussion it was decided to change the show time from autumn to hold a Spring Show. This proved to be very financially successful. Luncheon and afternoon tea was available on the grounds. A special Stud Sheep Sale was held as part of the afternoon’s activities.

President Mr. J.B. Makin

Secretary Mr. L.H. Densley 

13th Annual Show Thursday September 23rd 1926 

Before changing to a Spring Show it was suggested that they should go into recess for a time but the change had been a good one. The day was changed from Wednesday to Thursday because the train time tables were more suitable. This year the horses were judged by Mr. Syd Perry from Adelaide as he was a renowned horse judge.

The Kybybolite Experimental Farm had a very large educational exhibit which took up nearly all the western side of the hall. This year’s show had a car driving contest where the driver had to negotiate a course with speed and skill. If the driver ran over a flag he had 10 minutes added to his time. Mr. Sid Makin was to set up the course and oversee the event with Mr. McClellane.

President Mr. J.B. Makin

Secretary Mr. L.H. Densley 

14th Annual Show Thursday September 15th  1927 

This was a well patronized event making Keith the “Desert Capital” as the carpet of green made it much more attractive than a dry dusty Autumn Show.

There were so many indoor exhibits that they had to improvise using petrol crates and planks to display all the entries.

Due to the special rail concessions and special goods train accommodation large numbers of visitors came from the south

President Mr. J.B. Makin

Vice President Mr. M.F. Crooks

Secretary Mr. LH. Densley

15th Annual Show Thursday Sept 20th 1928 

Events include Sheep Show, Sheep Dog Trials, Show Jumping, magnificent indoor displays.

A special trophy was donated by Mr. B Mc Bain for the winner of the Hunter Class 6:1

This show proved to be the most successful show held by the Border Downs A.H&F Society to this date, there was very keen competition, record Horse and Sheep entries. The judge for the Sheep was overwhelmed by the Quality, the Sullivan Bros. Swept the board in all classes carting off 41 prizes.

There was a very large attendance at the evening’s entertainment.

President J.B Makin

Secretary L.H Densley

16th Annual Show Thursday Sept 26th1929 

The cars completely encircled the Show Ring this year even though overall attendance was slightly lower than last year’s record.

There was new accommodation for the Poultry and Dog sections these were moved to the area around the main arena.

Sideshows were there as well with one showman standing in a box allowing the patrons, for a fee to pelt him with waddies. If he was hit he would have suffered grievous bodily harm. Two of the local uniformed representatives intervened and put a stop to such activity.

President J.B Makin

Secretary L.H Densley

17th Border Downs Annual Show at Keith Thursday October 2nd 1930

An excellent Show with gate takings up on the 1929 show.

Mr. Williams dog Battle won the sheep dog trial yarding his sheep in 12 minutes. Mr. Densley’s dog Scottie got through the course using all his time to come second.

At the Concert Mr. J.B. Makin thanked everyone for their support at this year’s show, then Mr. A.W. Shannon proposed a vote of thanks to the show committee for the work they do, this was seconded by Mr. A.I. Densley. Fees for sideshows was set at 10/6 and farm machinery 5/-

President Mr. J.B. Makin

Secretary Mr. L.H. Densley

18th Border Downs Annual Show Thurs October 1st 1931

On Friday 11th & 18th Sept 1931 a Cancellation Notice was issued in the Border Chronicle by President J.B Makin & Secretary A.W.M Dellow. No reason for the cancellation of the show was given.

The 1932 Show was not held.

Due to the fact that the show was not held for two years the 1933 Border Downs Keith Show is now the Eighteenth Show and was held on Thursday March 16th1933.

President J.B Makin

Secretary A.W.M Dellow

Page 3 of the Border Chronicle March 24th 1933 reads – After canceling the 1931 show and not holding a 1932 show, disappointment was expressed that locals didn’t support the show; I quote “From an attendance point of view at the fixture, it was some what disappointing that apparently it did not have the full support of its own community. A big section of the small attendance was made up of visitors.”


1934 to 1942 no records of shows 

CWA Austerity Indoor Show was held on Saturday 16th March 1943

Austerity Events were held to raise funds for our troops serving overseas.

This show was held to raise money for our troops overseas so that they may be able to have a few extras while they were doing it tough in the trenches.

The show featured a full line up of indoor exhibits plus dressed ducks, turkeys, chooks and sheep. The prize winners were give war coupons so they could buy the extra things they needed. The exhibits were auctioned at the end of the day with the proceeds going to the comfort fund.

A total of 36 Pounds and 15 Shillings was raised

Mr. Sid Makin donated the hall hire. Local people were instructed on making camouflage nets.

President Mrs. W.E Gill

Secretary Mrs. C.D Ellis.

No shows were held in 1944 and 1945 because of the War.


Keith Community Centre Formed 31-1-1945

C.A Cook was appointed as Chairman.

1st Community Centre Sports Gymkhana and Indoor Show Saturday March 9th 1946

This featured a full indoor display. Full report Border Chronicle March 21st 1946.

President C.A. Cook

Secretary GD Moseley 

2nd Community Centre Indoor Show Saturday Sept 7th 1946

Exhibits of wool, fodder, grain, dairy produce, cooking, sewing, needlework

President C.A. Cook

Secretary G.D. Moseley

3rd Community Centre Gymkhana and Show Sat Oct 4th 1947 

Events: Sheep Dog trials, Horses in action, Ugly Man competition final, Grand Dance including a Ballet.

President C.A. Cook

Secretary G.D. Moseley

Winning results for the Ugly Man:

Winner CA .Davis 46834 Votes

2nd C.H. Hender   31550

3rd O.R. Williams 24666

The winner was crowned and given a long flowing robe by the Honorable Archbishop Cartwheel (Guy Wheal)

4th Community Centre Keith Show Sat Oct 30th 1948 

A full compliment of indoor and outdoor exhibits

President C.A. Cook

Secretary G.D. Moseley

Good entries received (706)

5thCommunity Centre Annual Show at Keith Saturday October 8th 1949

President C.A Cook

Secretaries G.D Moseley, A Nottage

Featuring Army Unit Demonstration at 11am

6th Community Centre Keith Show Saturday October 7th 1950 

President C.A Cook

Secretary G.D Moseley, A. Nottage, A. Hill.


Keith & District Show Society formed 16-3-1951

New show grounds first used September 1963 (not 1965 as in Keith Book)

Keith & Tintinara Show Society Formed 1967 

Keith Country Fair & Show 2008


The references to pounds and shillings etc. relate to the pre-decimal currency used. Under the implementation conversion rate, £1 was set as the equivalent of $2.