Crowds in for a record-smashing pumpkin at this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show

The 728-kilogram pumpkin arrives at the produce display at the Easter Show. Photo: Dallas Kilponen Workers at the produce display inspect the pumpkin that came in at 728 kilograms. Photo: Dallas Kilponen
Nanjing Night Net

Northern District produce display manager Arthur Johns with the winning pumpkin. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

It’s the 728-kilogram record-breaker that so very nearly might not have been.

Australasia’s largest-ever pumpkin, an Atlantic Giant grown by Dale Oliver, slipped from a harness when it was being taken for a weigh-in back in January.

“We were just lifting it and something broke,” said the farmer from Knockrow, a village near Bangalow in northern NSW.

“We just thought ‘oh no, it’s going to be cracked or something.'”

But the mega-gourd sustained only a small gash, to be declared on Saturday the biggest pumpkin to ever grace a Sydney Royal Easter Show, which opens for its 193rd year on Thursday.

The dominant pumpkin smashes the previous 618-kilogram record, also held by Mr Oliver and set in 2013.

This year’s champion was at one stage an even heavier 743kg. “It’s lost weight because it’s just been sitting around,” Mr Oliver said, adding he had another 660kg whopper in reserve.

“I just cut the other one up last week and fed it to the cattle and it was as good as gold.”

The record-holder will take pride of place at the Great Backyard Pumpkin Challenge in the flower and garden pavilion at this year’s show, rather than among 50,000 other pieces of fruit that make up the five district exhibits at the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome.

Its absence will not be felt by Arthur Johns, the manager of the Northern District exhibit, who said the pumpkins did not have a reputation for meeting gentle ends.

“I’m never very fussy about putting them in a display for that reason,” Mr Johns said.

“They can look lovely today and overnight they blow up and when you come to work the next morning you’ve got a big mess.”

But this pumpkin might last longer than its record.

Mr Oliver said another pumpkin, believed to be about 700 kilograms, was due to be weighed in New Zealand in the next week.

“It’s going to be close,” Mr Oliver said. “We’ll see what happens.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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