Long-awaited rain has Wanaka A&P crowds smiling

  • 11/03/2019
Chairman of the Upper Clutha A&P Association Grant Ruddenklau presents Erewhon Station owners Colin Drummond and Erin Cassie with the historic President’s Trophy, awarded for the most spectacular aspect of the show.
Chairman of the Upper Clutha A&P Association Grant Ruddenklau presents Erewhon Station owners Colin Drummond and Erin Cassie with the historic President’s Trophy, awarded for the most spectacular aspect of the show. Photo credit: Supplied

Organisers of the weekend's Wanaka A&P Show were thrilled at the turnout, with at least 40,000 people attending.

The 82nd show was held on Saturday and Sunday, with a heavy downpour of rain before the show welcomed by the local rural community.

Wanaka A&P Show event manager Jane Stalker said the rain had farmers breathing a collective sigh of relief after a dry and dusty few weeks. 

"The rain had a minor impact on the set-up for some trade exhibitors but it was business as usual for the show."

She said a combination of factors attracted the huge crowd to the event.

"The Wanaka A&P Show is now the largest two-day show in the South Island and many people make it a fixture on their events calendar, whether they come for the agriculture or the entertainment," said Ms Stalker.

"We're very lucky as the show is always held the second weekend of March when the weather is generally great, people are ready to relax, farmers are less busy than at other times of the year, and the timely rain meant they actually spent a bit more money too."

There were 465 trade exhibitors, on par with previous years. The number of cattle entries was 45, while horse and sheep entries were 230 and 130 respectively. 

Livestock, which came to the show from around the South Island, continued to be of a high calibre. Sixty eight dogs competed in the world-famous Jack Russell race, with first place being awarded to nine-year-old Stella, owned by Kristin Renda of Wanaka.

The show also hosted a range of entertainment over the two days, including performances by Wanaka country pop singer Jody Direen, The Beat Girls, folk singer Anna van Riel and magician Jonathan Usher. 

"Overall, it's been another sensational show and we are grateful to everyone who attended and helped to produce the event, including the show's stalwart volunteers, as well as the support from the wider Upper Clutha community," said Ms Stalker.

Next year's Wanaka A&P Show will be held on March 13-14, 2020.

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