The 81st Wanaka A&P Show, held at the stunning Wanaka lake front Show grounds was once again a huge success. Set in the beautiful autumn weather the annual show has an ever-increasing reputation as one of the key South Island events. Attracting people from all over New Zealand and injecting more than $11m into the local community. Event manager Jane Stalker said, “It was a fantastic couple of days and we’ve had a lot of positive comments from both competitors, visitors and trade stall holders.”
“One of the delights of the Show we believe is the variety. From livestock events to interesting talks from the likes of Mark Vette world renowned animal behaviourist. The cooking demonstrations are always a hit with MKR winner Chris Wright putting on a great show this year.”
“What I find most satisfying is seeing lots of smiling happy faces over the two days. It really does take me back to what we are striving to achieve.”
Show numbers were consistent with last year, recording around 38,000 people over the two days. With the introduction of online ticketing, despite a few teething issues, show organisers were happy with the overall system. Jane says, “With the continued growth in this area it is a step in the right direction with keeping the Wanaka A&P Show in line with other large events in New Zealand.”
An impressive prize was up for grabs for one lucky person that bought their tickets online. Alpine Spas collaborated with the Wanaka A&P Show supplying them with a $10,000 spa pool package. The lucky winner of the spa was Wanaka local Angela Richardson. Angela was ecstatic with her win, she said “I never win anything! So, to win a prize as amazing as this was a real surprise.”
Jane said, “The Home Industry as always, was a greatly loved part of the show with increased entries in most areas. Flower entries was the only division which was down due to the early summer. The children’s categories are always bursting at the seams with lots of very creative pieces being entered.” “We introduced a new system this year where participants could enter online. It will make it so much easier for the team in Home Industry going forwards.”
Fe Howie, Livestock secretary said while equestrian numbers were slightly up on last year we did have a higher percentage of scratchings for a variety of reasons. Horse entries equated to 1,991 entries but only 1,582 participated in the events over the two days.” “The demographics were slightly different,” She said. “We had 30 more entries in jumping classes which had quite an impact on the day, and more saddle hunters but fewer entries in some pony classes.” “Considering the Mycoplasma Bovis we were very pleased with the number of beef cattle. It was a great turn out and we’re very grateful for those beef breeders who did elect to come.”
476 Trade Exhibitors attended the show, with Mitre 10 winning the Best Large Exhibitor and BeSure Insurance the winner of the Best Small Exhibitor award. Judges Doug Stalker, President of the Wanaka A&P Show and his wife and Event Manager, Jane Stalker were the judges. Doug said. “It is an absolute pleasure to see the effort and pride that they put into their stalls.” Well known radio and TV presenter Mark Sainsbury presented the awards.
The Show’s, New Zealand’s Greatest Plains Irrigators Jack Russell race was once again a drawcard event. Celebrating 20 years the winner was won by speedy Louie from Hawea Flat. The win did not surprise his seven-year-old owner Bonnie. She said that “Louie spends all his spare time chasing rabbits at home!” Louie got to take home his very own prestigious doggie coat with 1st place embroidered on it. Jack Russell race organiser Richard Burdon, of Glen Dene farm at Lake Hawea, said the dogs enjoy the event as much as the spectators. With the chaotic nature of the event it can be a real task catching them again at the end.”
The organising committee have already started plans for the 2019 show which will be held on the 8th and 9th March. Mark it in your calendar.