Rain affects show attendance

JILL GALLOWAY
Last updated 12:00 10/12/2013
Bullride
GRANT MATTHEW/ Fairfax NZ

HANG TOUGH: Bullriding was among the popular events at this year's Royal A&P Show at Feilding.

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Gate takings are expected to be low from the Royal Manawatu A&P Show at Feilding as on-again off-again rain and wind took their toll on crowd numbers.

But organisers say it went well in spite of the weekend's patchy weather. The show was held at Manfeild Park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The organisers said they would not know the final figures of people coming through the gates until they crunched the eftpos and cash figures, which would take a few days.

Manfeild Park chief executive Heather Verry said that while the showers did lower attendance, the competitors were more than happy.

"There was no issue with the livestock. And we were particularly pleased with how the venue stood up."

Fewer people than expected went to the concerts, a key part of the entertainment at the Royal Show.

Mrs Verry said some entertainment was rained out but the showers stopped for Christmas in the Park and "it was great".

"But the fireworks on the last night were cancelled.

"We'll possibly have a fireworks spectacular with the grand prix racing in February."

The Royal Show was spread out across the venue, with the carnival a long walk away from the stadium, by South St.

However, she said the carnival owners from the South Island were happy with sales and were keen to come back next year.

The Manawatu consortium has a another Royal Show next year, and after that it is in the running for the following two years, but so is Hawke's Bay.

The chairman of the organising consortium, Murray Meads, said: "This was our first run at a Royal Show and it was also at a new venue. We have learned so much."

Mr Meads said he was heartened that all major categories of the competitions were well-subscribed.

"It just reminds us of the powerful allure of those prestigious Royal Agricultural Society ribbons.

"We have had people here from all over the country to compete for the highest awards in agriculture."

One of the major prizes, the Meat and Wool Cup, went to Tony Thompson, a Hawke's Bay simmental cattle breeder, for his prize stud bull, 1500-kilogram Glenanthony Yale.

The overall supreme animal of the show award went to Tom and Fiona Burrows, of North Canterbury, for their perendale ram hogget.

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- Manawatu Standard

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