Show organiser happy with turnout

HANNAH MCLEOD
Last updated 05:00 03/03/2014

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Despite a slow start and a chill in the air, organisers of the Southland A&P Show were delighted with the turnout, which they say was bigger than last year.

Show executive officer Steph Mouat said an estimated count at the Donovan Park gate showed about 7000 people attended the show in Invercargill on Saturday , compared with 6000 people last year.

"It was a good day out, we are really happy with the numbers," she said.

Venture Southland event manager Jade Gillies, who helped organise the event, said everyone was pleased with how the day went.

"It went like clockwork," he said.

The most common feedback he received was how great it had been for children to get in free.

"Because it's free for kids, it just makes it a great family day," he said.

The top prize of Supreme Animal went to Rob Hall, of Lilliesleaf Stud near Waikaka, for his Angus heifer.

Mr Hall said this was his first time at the Donovan Park venue.

Judge William Mitchell said the top award was well deserved.

"She had the X factor, a good clean cow with an excellent calf," he said.

The Grand Talent Search proved a popular drawcard, with 10-year-old Alyssa Parkinson, from Invercargill, snagging the $1000 prize with her rendition of pop song "Skinny Love''.

Other attractions on the day included performances from circus act Rob FireNix, who entertained with his fire antics, and Dogmatic from New Zealand's Got Talent.

Dogmatic trainer and performer Chelsea Marriner said she had been on the road with her nine performing dogs for about five weeks and she was loving the southern hospitality.

Attendee Hayley Grayling said she went to the A&P Show every year because it was fun for the kids.

Her daughter, Bella, had especially loved the Dogmatic show, she said.

Callie Arnold took her son Callum Brown, 21 months, to the A & P Show for the second year in a row.

"It's much better for him this year because he's that much older, and he's really engaging in it," Ms Arnold said.

Callum had his face painted and was very curious about the animals, she said.

hannah.mcleod@stl.co.nz

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