WHEN Kathryn Cullen accepted her sash as the 2013 Kiama Showgirl, it topped off a near perfect day.
The Cullen family had taken out best exhibitor in the cattle show, although the 20- year-old suffered a broken big toe from one of their exhibits during the last class when a horse spooked it.
"It crushed it and spun around on it so it's either broken or badly damaged," she said.
"I just put a smile on my face and tried to forget about it."
But Miss Cullen persevered, swapping heels for flat shoes to continue putting sashes on horses, taking afternoon tea to the volunteers at the entry gates and selling raffle tickets, before taking to the stage with fellow entrants Lauren Corradini, Andria Binkins and Laura Morgan for the announcement.
On Friday evening, Miss Cullen won the right to represent Kiama at the zone final on February 9, with Miss Corradini named runner-up for 2013.
"[Completing a loop of the showground in a vintage car] was the highlight of the day, I'd never been in a vintage MG before," Miss Cullen said.
"I was shaking and had tears in my eyes when it was announced - I didn't know what to expect, it could have gone any way."
The main challenge for her during the competition was the public speaking component.
Miss Cullen said it had been a privilege to be involved in the show.