Fieldays buzz set to continue

23:34, Jun 13 2012
Alan Smith, from Matamata, with his dog "Nick" at the Sheepdog trials on day 2 of Fieldays.
Alan Smith, from Matamata, with his dog "Nick" at the Sheepdog trials on day 2 of Fieldays. Hamilton
Alan Smith, from Matamata, with his dog "Nick" at the Sheepdog trials on day 2 of Fieldays.
Alan Smith, from Matamata, with his dog "Nick" at the Sheepdog trials on day 2 of Fieldays. Hamilton
Graeme Strawbridge with dogs, Rock and "Blue" with a blue eye  at the Sheepdog trials on day 2 of Fieldays. Hamilton
Graeme Strawbridge with dogs, Rock and "Blue" with a blue eye at the Sheepdog trials on day 2 of Fieldays. Hamilton
Nicola Rawlandson's dog "Jan" at the sheepdog trials.
Nicola Rawlandson's dog "Jan" at the sheepdog trials.
"Blue" with a blue eye owned by Graeme Strawbridge.  Hamilton
"Blue" with a blue eye owned by Graeme Strawbridge. Hamilton

A hard frost and crystal clear skies have kicked the second day of Fieldays off to a chilly start at Mystery Creek.

A steady flow of visitors are flowing into the venue where retailers are hoping that the day one buzz continues.

With all the formalities of opening ceremonies completed Fieldays commercial general manager Nick Dromgool said it was time to get down to business.

Ian mayall of TeAroha ties up his dogs ahead of the sheep dog trials.
Ian mayall of TeAroha ties up his dogs ahead of the sheep dog trials.
Issac sage  of Palmerston north gets ready for Bill Schuller Fencing competition.
Issac sage of Palmerston north gets ready for Bill Schuller Fencing competition.
Pat Munro and AllanBright of Katikati get coffee as National Fieldays begins.
Pat Munro and AllanBright of Katikati get coffee as National Fieldays begins.
Crowds pouring in on the opening day of Fieldays.
Crowds pouring in on the opening day of Fieldays.
Maggie Murdock, 5,  from Patetonga checks out colorfully range of commando gumboots.
Maggie Murdock, 5, from Patetonga checks out colorfully range of commando gumboots.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
Ag Art Wear at the Fieldays.
PRECISION CUT: Stihl Timbersports team member Adam Lowe of Hokitika focuses intently as he races to cut through a log with an axe.
PRECISION CUT: Stihl Timbersports team member Adam Lowe of Hokitika focuses intently as he races to cut through a log with an axe.
FREEBIE FUN: A young girl attempts to untangle the balloons she has collected as she makes her way through the throngs of people who made the most of the fine opening-day weather.
FREEBIE FUN: A young girl attempts to untangle the balloons she has collected as she makes her way through the throngs of people who made the most of the fine opening-day weather.
Paul Hammond from Lake Rotoehu tries his balancing skills on a mechanical bullride.
Paul Hammond from Lake Rotoehu tries his balancing skills on a mechanical bullride.
Maddison Gerosh from Raglan tries her balancing skills on a mechanical bullride.
Maddison Gerosh from Raglan tries her balancing skills on a mechanical bullride.
FIELDAYS ROCKS OFF: A day one highlight at the agricultural show was the mechanical bull riding; Aucklander Mitchell Goff shows here how it is done.
FIELDAYS ROCKS OFF: A day one highlight at the agricultural show was the mechanical bull riding; Aucklander Mitchell Goff shows here how it is done.
The number of cockies and townies through the gate was up 2.3 per cent on last year at 27,088 with most streaming in through the frost.
The number of cockies and townies through the gate was up 2.3 per cent on last year at 27,088 with most streaming in through the frost.
The number of cockies and townies through the gate was up 2.3 per cent on last year at 27,088 with most streaming in through the frost.
The number of cockies and townies through the gate was up 2.3 per cent on last year at 27,088 with most streaming in through the frost.
ROLLING IT IN: Vernon Suckling is $5000 richer after taking out the Fieldays Golden Standard award for innovation.
ROLLING IT IN: Vernon Suckling is $5000 richer after taking out the Fieldays Golden Standard award for innovation.
Demo at the Honda Display, The public watch as Bruce Nielsen on the Honda TRX 420 FPA passes by.
Demo at the Honda Display, The public watch as Bruce Nielsen on the Honda TRX 420 FPA passes by.
Chainsaw V8 Demo by Murray Raynel , "Skinny" Chris Harris and "Pike" Andrew Haswell.
Chainsaw V8 Demo by Murray Raynel , "Skinny" Chris Harris and "Pike" Andrew Haswell.
Mary Torok taking part in 'Hoof Ball' at Fieldays.
Mary Torok taking part in 'Hoof Ball' at Fieldays.
Helen Hansen taking part in 'Hoof Ball' at Fieldays.
Helen Hansen taking part in 'Hoof Ball' at Fieldays.
Helen Hansen and Katie Stockholme taking part in 'Hoof Ball' at Fieldays.
Helen Hansen and Katie Stockholme taking part in 'Hoof Ball' at Fieldays.
Katarina Torok taking part in 'Hoof Ball' at Fieldays.
Katarina Torok taking part in 'Hoof Ball' at Fieldays.
 PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am. PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.
PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.
 PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am. PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.
PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.
 PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am. PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.
PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.
 PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am. PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.
PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.
 PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am. PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.
PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.
 PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am. PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.
PM John Key arrived to a cold and wet Mystery Creek at 10am.

"Last night I attended our International Agribusiness function and one retailer, a local manufacturer, achieved 80 per cent of last years total sales on the first day alone," he said. "That is a significant achievement."

He said gate staff were also reporting that visitors were leaving with many items ticked off the shopping list and clearly happy with their investments.

"Talking with those that have a longer history with Fieldays than I have it would seem that Thursday is traditionally the quietest day, but still we are seeing good numbers on site."

Advertisement

Mitchell Goff
FIELDAYS ROCKS OFF: A day one highlight at the agricultural show was the mechanical bull riding; Aucklander Mitchell Goff shows here how it is done.

Coffee carts are dealing with long lines of customers hopping from one foot to another as they try to keep warm in the initial sub zero temperatures.

Solid trade and big numbers were racked up on opening day of the National Agricultural Fieldays but exhibitors were tight-lipped on sales figures.

The number of cockies and townies through the gate was up 2.3 per cent on last year at 27,088 with most streaming in through the frost.

That meant more wallets at the Mystery Creek site yet the verdict from big name retailers was mixed.

Suzuki national motorcycle sales manager Simon Meade said the first day of Fieldays had been positive, with a "good level of interest and steady traffic all day".

"It's probably been a better Wednesday than last year, by comparison," Mr Meade said.

"I think the farming community itself is probably in a better place.

"It's a state of mind. Even though dairy farmers' payout is less, most of the farmers that have come through this difficult period have adjusted their forecast for the lower payout.

"It's the same for sheep and beef farmers – they are not doing too badly," Mr Meade said.

"The motor vehicle industry is going very well but the motorbike industry is in a holding pattern. Quad bike sales have not changed for the last 10 to 15 years – quad bikes are a necessary tool."

Mr Meade said Suzuki had made sales yesterday, but preferred not to give figures.

But Oringi Protection Wear owner Chris Bousfield said while crowd numbers were solid, people were "more discerning with their cash".

Smaller ticket items such as gloves and socks were selling hot as opposed to big ticket items such as waterproof jackets, he said.

"Last year was our best year ever, but this year people are spending less with us.

"But it is still too early to tell what will happen. Last year we thought Saturday would be a quiet day and then all the townies came and spent up big."

Horselands managing director Sherry Peko said she was happy with the level of interest in the equestrian supplies company. She believed the stunningly good weather had helped.

Ms Peko expected the busiest days for the site would be today and tomorrow.

Australian leather hats and waterproof Windemere Ariat boots were among the most popular items sold.

Kiwi favourite oilskin coats always sell well.

"People come back to Fieldays every year and buy oilskins."

Federated Farmers Waikato provincial president James Houghton said he thought the turnout on the first day was good, but he expected most farmers would be keeping their hands in their pockets for items over $500.

Yet the property market seems to be in a healthy position if you take the word of George Barton, from Century 21's rural and lifestyle sales section.

He had expected to be "bored" all day but was pleasantly surprised – there was a steady stream of enquiries.

"Already I have had an airline pilot, a sheep farmer and a retired kiwifruit farmer all inquiring about properties, genuine inquiries," he said.

"The bigger farms on the market, that area is still slow, but for smaller blocks, even one-acre bare-land blocks, we are getting a lot of interest."

Stihl Group business development manager Karol Stephens said her stall had a steady day.

"And people seem to be buying," she said.

"But overall, looking out on to the rest of Fieldays, I have noticed it is definitely more quiet, numbers wise, than last year.

"The Fieldays organisers will try and tell you different, but you can tell."

Waikato Times