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When the country came to town: Horowhenua A&P Show

Agricultural & Pastoral shows were an annual feature of my rural upbringing. Last year we went to the Masterton show; this year (a couple of weeks ago) we went to one in Levin.

Levin is one of main centres of the Horowhenua District, about an hour and a half north of Wellington. Normally just somewhere you drive through, it was unusual for it to be the destination.

If you’re not too familiar with the A&P show concept, the photos while not definitive should give you a flavour.

Holding pens for the cute and cuddly alpacas

Judges inspect a line of alpacas

A crowd gathers in front of the shearing shed

Shearing competition in progress

Two pink pigs hang out in their pen

At snout level

These wee fellas were only born the previous night

I have a soft spot for pigs as a result of my farm upbringing. When I was much younger I collected pig figurines and for a time did not eat pig meat, but now… well, bacon is delicious. And many years later, after fetching a few boxes and things out of storage, Mike banned my pig collection from entering the house. I sent them to a new (hopefully more caring) home way down south somewhere.

Cows being groomed in front of a shed that displays the ribbons awarded so far

At A&P shows you always find new tractors and old tractors

And near the new tractors, you will often find men in discussion

Gates leading through to the miniature horse base and parade area

The horses may have been miniature in stature but crikey the stallion, um, wasn’t. Those little lady horses were pretty cute though.

An A&P show isn’t complete without all the arts and crafts, which go under the name ‘home industries’. There was so much baking it probably wasn’t the wisest exhibit to visit when hungry.

A selection of the home industries exhibits

I was interested to see that the modern version of the decorated sand saucer competition that I remember entering is now the decorated round wine biscuit competition. More edible, I’ll grant them that.

Probably the highlight for me was the Dog & Duck Show.

The heading dog was directed by his master's whistles and put on an amazing display of control with a group of ducks

The dog had just completed two years of training. For the finale, he separated the ducks by colour and herded each group into a box. Great to watch

A show jumping entrant

We watched a bit of horse action while eating our burgers made by the rural volunteer firefighters

Sooner or later it was inevitable that we’d end up in the amusement park. The boys got a few coupons each from which they had to decide which rides to go on.

So many things to choose from...

An oldie but a goodie, if not the boys' cup of tea

This was though

Unfortunately we missed the sheep racing

After a quick visit to the trade shed to buy lollies and candy floss, we were A&Pd out. Time to go home.

Home time for some four-legged creatures as well

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Christine #

    Very interesting day out with the boys – all 3 of them [you should have requested visiting rights when you had to part with The Pig Collection!! I remember it well!!!]

    6 February 2012

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