It was a big year for the A&P Show. Celebrating its 125th birthday, the show went all out this year, and the crowds turned up for it, approximately 10,000 over the weekend.
The showgrounds have an interesting history, the original stands which were three-tiered and had no roof, burnt down in the 18th century and during the Spanish flu epidemic it was a temporary recovery centre.
The weather was hot and dry, and demand was so high for ice creams one of the stalls had sold out by 3 pm on Saturday.
There were the usual fairground rides to amuse the kids, and plenty of food stalls to keep them going. Demonstrations and competitions in wood chopping and sheep shearing provided lots of excitement, Local lad Jessie Whitehead holding off international competition to take the Jiggerboard championship.
The seats to watch the shearing competitions were always full. Sarah Higgins from Blenheim made it through to the semi-finals in the senior shearing competition, one of several women now competing against the men. With a nail-biting finish, Troy Higgins took the senior trials title.
For those that admire the skill of one man and his dog, the Trans-Tasman dog trials competed over both days and on a more laidback note the first fancy dress competition for dogs’ was won by Hazell the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Entertainment was provided by The Dukes of Weathershire. Playing classic folk-rock with a modern twist on Saturday, and on Sunday it was the turn of Dust and Gold, two talented singers also from Nelson.
If you had been one of the readers to send in an old photo of an A & P Show it was on display in the History Brought to Life booth. A book on the history of the show and showgrounds is available to buy, contact the Richmond A & P Showground office.
“The show went really well, it’s one of the best we have had in years and we were really blessed with the weather,” says Kirstan Robinson Head of Marketing and Research, Richmond A & P Showgrounds.