Society marks centennial but shows held since 1868

Laura Kelso, of Loburn, rides her Shetland pony at last year's Duvauchelle A&P Show. This year's show will be held on January 11. Photo from Courier Country Files.
Laura Kelso, of Loburn, rides her Shetland pony at last year's Duvauchelle A&P Show. This year's show will be held on January 11. Photo from Courier Country Files.
The Duvauchelle A&P Society is marking its centennial next month, but it has been hosting shows for 145 years.

President Mike Tapley said while the centennial show on Saturday, January 11, would mark 100 years since the society joined the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS), the first Duvauchelle show was held in 1868.

''It is older than the show at Little River, which celebrated its centennial in January 2012. ''It started off as a horse show and it was an opportunity to sell stallions and it progressed from there.

''Once it became an RAS show it brought in all those other elements like sheep and cattle and the indoor sections that you expect at an A&P show.''

The Duvauchelle A&P Show continued to have sheep and cattle classes until recent years, when entries fell away.

To mark the centennial, four RAS medals would be presented, in the shearing, produce and horse sections and for service to the show, Mr Tapley said.

A marquee will house a timeline of the show's history. Akaroa Area School teacher Garry Brittenden has prepared a digital presentation of Banks Peninsula history, including interviews of various local personalities, especially for the show.

Classic cars mostly from around the peninsula will be on show, while the Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum will lend some artefacts and set up working displays, including a blacksmith and a pit-sawing demonstration.

A wool display was also being set up, where members of the public would try to match the wool to various local farmers' brands, while former world champion shearer David Fagan was set to be another drawcard for the show.

All the extra features meant this year's show would extend into the neighbouring Duvauchelle School grounds, while parking would be at the neighbouring golf course.

Regular show visitors would still be able to camp in the camping ground in front the showgrounds, Mr Tapley said.

''We have a number of regular competitors who come over and camp and compete in the show and then go on to the Little River show the next Saturday.

''Many of them are fourth and fifth generations competing at the show. They support the show incredibly well.

''We get a lot them from the Christchurch Hunt Club, which is putting on a display, bringing some dogs out at the same time as the terrier race.''

By David Hill.