Societies to link for Royal Show

Two A & P associations that have been the subject of merger rumours for years are joining forces to host a Royal Show in Manawatu.

The Feilding Industrial Agricultural and Pastoral Association (IA&P) and the Manawatu West Coast Agricultural and Pastoral (A&P) will take their role in a consortium which includes Manfeild Park Trust and Performance Beef Breeder (PBBnz) to host the Royal Show. It will be at Manfeild Park in early December.

"A Royal Show means there will be more livestock attracted. And we have already heard of sheep, beef and dairy cattle coming up from the South Island," said chairman of the group, Murray Meads.

Mr Meads said that with a Royal show, the places were especially sought-after by livestock owners because the ribbons held more prestige than those won in a regional A & P show.

Manawatu West Coast A&P president Lawrence Satherley said the Royal Show meant it would be a national event, attracting more livestock entries and a win meant it was the best around.

He said organisers were expecting about 30,000 people over the three-day event which included entertainment.

The Topp Twins and the Waratahs would provide the "right heartland sound", Mr Meads said.

Manfeild Park and the group would host the Royal Show in 2014, he said.

And the consortium also had a bid with the Royal Agricultural Society to have the Royal Show in 2015 to 2017, but it would not make a decision on that until late December.

The Royal Show will be held on what were Feilding IA&P's dates of December 6, 7 and 8.

"Not quite the best date for livestock, but it does guarantee better weather than our November date," Mr Satherley said.

Manawatu Standard