The RASV is synonymous with agricultural life in Victoria, and the society is very much a part of what gives the state its unique identity. Many of the symbols of the RASV are well known to state residents and interstate visitors alike. The symbols help make the society a recognisable and celebrated part of the cultural life of the nation.
Speed the Plough
Speed the Plough is the famous motto of the RASV. The motto dates back at least to the fourteenth century, when it was used in an anonymous poem reflective of pride in farming. The society’s first competitions were ploughing matches, and the motto served to spur on competitors and to promote the development of more effective and efficient agricultural machinery. It still stands for the RASV’s attitude of innovation and leadership.
Pie in the Sky
The famous, and heritage listed, ‘Pie in the Sky’ has stood at the Showgrounds since 1977. Erected as advertising for the Four’n’Twenty Pies, the cultural icon has now stood for the living memory of two generations of Victorians and is the most popular meeting point for show visitors.
The Garryowen Perpetual Trophy is awarded annually to the winner of the one of the most prestigious equestrienne events in Australia, the Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout. The competition is named after three-time Royal Melbourne Show champion saddle horse, Garryowen, whose owner Violet Murrell, died tragically whilst trying to save the Garryowen from a stable fire in 1934.
The Jimmy Watson
The Jimmy Watson Memorial Wine Trophy is Australia’s most prestigious wine award. It is presented by the Watson family and friends in recognition of services rendered to the advancement of the Australian wine industry by the late Jimmy Watson. The award is for the best one or two year old dry red wine.
The Royal Melbourne Show’s first Grand Parade was held in 1910. The parade displayed horses and cattle in the one massed parade, rather than separate parades for each class. As the years went on, the parade encompassed more and more classes and evolved into the colourful and exciting events loved and remembered by Show visitors of all ages.
First Ploughing Match
The first competition held by the precursors of the RASV—the Moonee Ponds Farmers’ Society and the Port Phillip Farmers’ Society—was an annual ploughing match, instituted in 1848. The First Ploughing Match was held at La Rose farm in Moonee Ponds.
‘Young Bull and Herdsman’
Situated outside the RASV offices in the Showgrounds, the ‘Young Bull and Herdsman’ is the work of English sculptor Sir Joseph Boehm (1834-1890). The sculpture was loaned by Boehm for the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition in 1888-89 and acquired by the Melbourne Art Gallery and Museum before being gifted to the RASV.