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All go for the Show

There's just one more sleep until the annual Spring Show and organisers have breathed a hefty sigh of relief it is all go after months of uncertainty around Covid-19.

The Poverty Bay A&P Association committee has wholeheartedly taken on the challenge to make the town and country get-together happen under testing circumstances.

The Show executive made the decision early in the Covid crisis that every effort would be made to run the event, were consistent in that stance and planning continued accordingly.

“We were determined all along to stage the Show, providing Covid restrictions let it happen, and thankfully that’s the case,” said association president Rob Telfer.

“We have to pay tribute to Erica (McNeil, Show general manager) and her team, the groundsman — everyone who has kept the process going to the point we are now at . . . Show time.

“I think this year’s event will be extra special because of what the community has been through this year, and it’s a good step towards helping the community get back into a positive frame of mind.”

The dog trials component of the event got under way yesterday with the first runs in the 235-entry line-up at the back of the Showgrounds Park.

Some good scores were posted on day one. Five triallists qualify each day for a 15-combination final on Saturday morning.

The 2134 equestrian entries has stunned Show organisers. There were around 1700 last year.

The horse and pony component of the Show began this morning, rolling through in the centre ring and the RDA pavilion, culminating in the Grand Prix early Saturday afternoon in the main jumping ring.

This year’s GP has attracted more than 20 entries.

Trade space at the Showgrounds has been almost fully subscribed.

“Considering the year we have had the trades have been very well supported again, locally and from outside the district,” said Mrs McNeil.

“Everyone has been very excited and very positive when they’ve come on site this week to set up their trades exhibits.”

She was thrilled to see the event ready to go.

“There’s been a lot of positive vibe and positive people involved in making this happen this year.

“We are so thankful to the community for supporting us once again and we hope they come out to the Showgrounds to enjoy what we have to offer,” she said.

“We need the people through the gates to make it successful for the association.”

John Mahon, from Sideshow Alley, said he and his team were rapt to be back in Gisborne and their side of the Show will be all set to go from tomorrow morning.

“It’s looking good, looking great.

“We have a new fun game this year, the Frying Frogs — an Italian version of the old catch-a-frog game that I’m sure people will find a lot of fun,” he said.

“There are no price changes this year. We are just happy to be here and for the Show to be going ahead.”

The stock component of the show includes the Ovation Prime Lamb Competition, the Mangahauhau Hampshires Old Season Lamb Muster, the Short Contracting Breeding Ewe Hogget Competition, and the Turihaua Supreme Heifer Challenge, all of which have been well supported again.

The Farmers Air Pavilion will host presentations in those competitions late Saturday morning, and Gizzy Shrek will be shorn there by renowned blade shearer Peter Casserly at around the same time.

The champion wool fleeces will be judged tomorrow for the T.S.White Memorial Shield in the wool room.

The Home Industries entrants have their 1800-plus entries on show in the Event Centre, also from tomorrow morning.

The shearing and wool handling classes start their competitions at 8.30am Saturday, with dairy goats, fencing and national dancing competitions on, too.

There is no woodchopping this year.

Free buses will operate from the city to Showgrounds Park both days, leaving from the Kaiti Mall six times a day.

Weather-wise, the MetService points to a few early showers clearing tomorrow and a fine day with north-westerlies on Saturday.

“It’s all set out there for two days of good fun.” Mr Telfer said.

“We ask the community to support us.”

GIVE EWE THE EYE: Trev, directed by Kendal Bruce, stares down sheep and appears to be getting some assistance from the sign behind on the opening day of the sheep dog trials at the A&P Show. Picture by Paul Rickard
CARNY KID: CJ Mahon and daughter Hazel, a fourth-generation “carny”, test drive the always-popular merry-go-round at Sideshow Alley. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
KNITTING EXTRAORDINAIRE: Home industries stalwart Alexia English with a range of her woolly creations that earned her 15 first placings.
WINNING WOODWORK: Bruce English with his winning entry in the 4x2 challenge class.
NOT JUST FOR YOUR FEET: Home Industries head stewardess Amanda Mathers with Bentley Chapman’s winning creation in the years 1, 2 and 3 article made from a sock category.