Bad weather hurts show attendance

JILL GALLOWAY
Last updated 12:00 20/12/2013
Show
DAVID UNWIN/ Fairfax NZ
ENJOYING THE SHOW: Molly O'Beirne and Antonia Matangi were among the people enjoying the Royal Show in Feilding recently.

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Royal Show organisers say they are disappointed by the turnout at the Feilding event, as wet weather kept people away.

"We had 10,000 over the three days," Royal Show consortium head Murray Meads said.

He said show organisers had hoped 20,000 people would come to each of the evening concerts.

"But outdoor concerts are so dependent on the weather and it wasn't good."

The show had entertainers Titanium and the Topp Twins, as well as Christmas at the Royal on Saturday - a programme that went well, organisers said.

"Sunday we had the Warratahs and Dirtbox Charlie. The performers were here so that went ahead, but there were cold showers. And the fireworks were cancelled."

He said entries for stock and horses were about four times what they would expect if it had not been a Royal Show, as people chased high-status show ribbons for their animals. But the "foul" weather took its toll on attendance.

The Royal Show was held early this month at Feilding's Manfeild Park.

"We had three days of wet weather, so people who were making the decision on whether to have a day out, decided not to."

The consortium formed to bring the show to Manawatu was a combination of specialised agribusiness company Performance Beef Breeders, event centre Manfeild Park Trust, the Feilding IA&P and Manawatu & West Coast A&P Associations.

He said there had been some debriefs on how the show went, and one was planned for everyone next month.

"The gate take was disappointing but we have the heart of the show [stock and horse] entries to build on."

Mr Meads said Manawatu had Royal status for next year's show, and also wanted it for 2015 and 2016.A decision is likely to be made by the Royal Agricultural executive soon.

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- Manawatu Standard

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