Crowds pour in to Canterbury A&P Show after damp start

Marshall Stokes, 11, gets whacked by his galloway cow while parading.
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

Marshall Stokes, 11, gets whacked by his galloway cow while parading.

More than 100,000 people are expected through the turnstiles at the 154th Canterbury A&P Show this week. 

Some brief morning rain on Wednesday well and truly cleared by early afternoon, with scattered cloud above the Showgrounds on Curletts Rd.

The sound of livestock echoed across the extensive grounds as the sun beamed down – Metservice recorded the temperature at 27 degrees Celsius at 2pm. 

Three generations of sheep exhibitors. From left: Mark Christey, 16, Andrew Christey, and Leo Christey.
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

Three generations of sheep exhibitors. From left: Mark Christey, 16, Andrew Christey, and Leo Christey.

Sheep and beef farmer, and A&P Association president, Warrick James said everything was going to plan.

"We're very happy with the preparations and the people seem to be enjoying it so far," James said.

The veteran show-goer and cattle-shower said the 6000 animals on show were of the finest quality and included sheep, cattle, horses, llamas, poultry, and pigs.

A bull leaving the livestock shed for judging on day one of the Canterbury A&P Show.
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

A bull leaving the livestock shed for judging on day one of the Canterbury A&P Show.

"As a shower for many years I love the cattle, but woodchopping is a passion of mine, as is watching the shearing."

School groups in uniform filed down the wide footpaths, passing trade stalls. Everything is on show this week, from farm clothing to local high schools.

Agricultural and construction machinery a plenty lined the footpath, ranging from ride-on lawn mowers selling for $4000, to much larger beasts like the Claas​ Lexion 670 harvester. On loan from a customer, the multi-storey machine is worth upwards of $800,000. 

Looking from out at the weather from the livestock pavilion.
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

Looking from out at the weather from the livestock pavilion.

As ferris wheels and fairground rides whirled, children gathered at the Tip Top Family Lawn for a magic show.

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Ice creams were the snack of choice on the hot Canterbury day.

One clear theme of the day was health and safety, with a WorkSafe assessment carried out on Tuesday morning before the gates opened.

A bit of rain to start the show, but the sun has since come out.
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

A bit of rain to start the show, but the sun has since come out.

The show's health and safety officer said it passed with flying colours.

Meanwhile, more than 80 pre-schoolers from three Pebbles Preschools in Sumner and Cashmere enjoyed lunch in the family area, all wearing miniature high-vis jackets.

Nanny Julia Smith said the three groups congregated for lunch before heading their separate ways around the show.

"We're going to find some bouncy castles after this," she said.

 - Stuff

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