The rivalry is still friendly but a rookie giant pumpkin grower has turned the tables on the established champions to win a coveted prize.
Steven Fritz – and his 206kg pumpkin – won the Royal Queensland Show’s (Ekka) Giant Pumpkin Competition from four-time winners, Geoff and Tony Frohloff.
But the twist in the tale was revealed when Steven, from Marburg, thanked his neighbours for their advice.
“I live near the Frohloff family and they’ve actually been giving me lots of tips and advice – they probably gave me too much advice, but thank you to them,” he said.
Tony Frohloff claimed second place with a 140kg whopper while dad claimed third with his pumpkin weighing 135.5kg.
“It’s my first time growing anything for a competition so I didn’t expect my pumpkin to get so big,” Mr Fritz explained.
“I think the good soil in the Marburg area helped and also lots of water and fertilisers.”
The news wasn’t all bad for the Frohloffs. Geoff still holds the 261.5kg Ekka record for the Heaviest Pumpkin of Show, while Tony’s son Jordan won the Youth Class with his 61.5kg pumpkin.
In the school competition, Bullyard State School near Bundaberg came out on top with their pumpkin tipping the scales at 40kg, beating St Patricks College in Shorncliffe, with their entry weighing 8.5kg.
RNA Chief Executive Brendan Christou said the giant pumpkin competition dates back to the very first show in 1876.
“This is one of our most iconic agricultural competitions, recognising and rewarding growers for producing the best of the best,” he said.
Some of the giant pumpkins will return to the Brisbane Showgrounds in August, to be displayed in the Agricultural Education Hall during Ekka.
The giant pumpkin competition signals the official countdown to Ekka, which is now just 90 days away.
The results of the competition, presented by Pillow Talk, were:
Class 1 – Open:
- 1st Steven Fritz – 206kg
- 2nd Tony Frohloff – 140kg
- 3rd Geoff Frohloff – 135.5kg
Class 2 – School:
- 1st Bullyard State School – 40kg
- 2nd St Patricks College – 8.5kg
- 3rd Bowenville State School – 8kg
Class 3 – Youth:
- 1st Jordan Frohloff – 61.5kg
- 2nd Dylan Frohloff – 36.5kg
- 3rd Riley Frohloff – 24.5kg