CALMNESS and confidence are traits judges will be looking for in yard dog trials at this year's Inverell Show.
Matthew Ehsman has judged about 50 trials over the years and says the 2024 event has been buoyed by the success of the television program Muster Dogs.
"The show is a condensed version of what makes a good working dog and hopefully that will attract a younger, newer generation to this year's trials," Mr Ehsman said.
Producers, artisans, growers and members of Inverell Show Society are all gearing up for the 156th show, to be held at Inverell Showground, Tingha Road, on February 23 and February 24.
This year's entertainment includes a motorbike barrel race, super tank fishing show and comedy races.
But the yard dog trials are tipped to draw a bigger crowd of spectators than usual, thanks in part to the success of the ABC's Muster Dogs.
"The trials are aimed at assessing what kind of pressure the dog can handle," Mr Ehsman said.
"I've been in the game for about 30 years and I can tell you it's a lot harder for the dog in a yard than in a paddock.
"In the yard, they have to be more confident with stock. They must 'read' the sheep and predict where they will move.
"So dogs must have confidence and to also be calm. They must be able to handle the pressure."
He gave a special "coo-ee" to younger handlers.
"The first [yard dog trial] is always the scariest, but it's all about getting out there and there are a lot of people willing to help," Mr Ehsman said.
There are four classes in the trials at the show; open, novice, local and maiden.
Elsewhere, crowd-pleasers will return. Campdraft had a waiting list last year and is proving to be similarly popular in 2024.
Demolition derby, woodchopping and whip cracking are all booked for the main arena over both days.
Young woman of the year will be held for females aged between 18 and 25 and who are interested in becoming an ambassador for rural NSW and the agricultural show movement. (Last year's winner was Phoebe Turner.)
The Berkeley Supertank Fishing Show features a moving tank full of fish and angler Michael Hadac providing best tips for snagging a winner.
Comedy races involve pig races, roving entertainers, Norah's animal farmyard and the All Star Circus.
Cut flowers, knitting and crochet, woodwork and a children's corner are some of the features in the pavilion, while showjumping, beef cattle judging and a poultry section will be on display outside.
Sideshow alley will keep the children and teens entertained while the family can enjoy the Ka-Boom fireworks in the evening.
Tickets can be purchased at the gates, from $5 for children to $40 for a family pass.