Creatures keep crowd absorbed

DIANE BISHOP
Last updated 05:00 03/02/2014
 Balfour Dexter breeder Julia Eden with Java Hope

HIGH HOPES: Balfour Dexter breeder Julia Eden with Java Hope, who is almost dwarfed by her calf Java HGB. They won the dexter breed championships overall South Island award.

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There were thrills and spills at the Gore A&P Show on Saturday.

While kids enjoyed rides such as the merry-go-round, octopus and ferris wheel, a wagon in the wagon wheel race overturned and tossed its occupants onto the ground.

Luckily, no-one was harmed and they could laugh about it afterwards.

Crowds flocked to the show despite the cool weather, which saw the coffee carts and fast food stalls doing a roaring trade.

Cattle were a feature of the show that hosted both the South Island dexter breed championships and the South Island milking shorthorn championships.

Balfour dexter breeders Stewart and Julia Eden won the overall award with their 3-year-old cow Java Hope who was almost dwarfed by her August-born calf Java HGB.

The Edens also won the senior bull title with Java Slowpoke.

Mrs Eden, who has been breeding dexter cattle since the late 1990s, said they were thrilled to win the main awards.

"It's brilliant and we're really proud to win," she said.

The couple had recently shifted from Riversdale, where they milked 300 cows in an equity partnership, to their own 300-cow self-contained farm at Balfour.

"Growing conditions have been really favourable for the stock," she said.

Mataura Island dairy farmers Logan and Nicky Kelly took out the top award in the milking shorthorn championships with their 5-year-old cow Burness Empire Phil.

"She's got a really good udder - that's her strongest point," Mr Kelly said.

It was also a successful day for Waikoikoi sheep breeders Blair and Sally Robertson who won both the meat and wool cups with their southdown and romney rams.

The romney ram took out the supreme sheep award.

Mr Robertson said it was the eighth consecutive time they had won the wool cup and the seventh time he had won the meat cup.

He said he liked to show his sheep at Gore because it was one of the biggest sheep shows.

"We've also got great facilities here and good quality judges," he said.

As usual, children and their pets attracted the crowds.

There was a beautiful dutch holland rabbit called Bun-Bun and a rainbow lorikeet called Rosie.

And if you had some spare change you could have taken home a pet mouse for $3, with plenty of the little critters on offer.

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- The Southland Times

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