Show provides perfect mid-week break

Being staged on a Wednesday is a decided asset for the Maniototo A&P Show, association president Chris Steele said yesterday.

''There are very few mid-week A&P shows around the country but I'm sure it works to our advantage and contributes to the longevity of this show,'' he said after opening the 114th show in Ranfurly.

''People are quite happy to take a day or half a day off work to come along, and the trade suppliers seem happy with a mid-week show too, so it's win-win.''

Mr Steele said entries across the board were up this year and the show attracted a ''great crowd'', although gate takings were yet to be finalised.

''We're lucky to be a well-supported show all round.

''The weather's been perfect as well - cooler in the morning, which was great for judging, and warmer in the afternoon when the crowds arrived, but not too hot.''

Although the forecast was for the temperature to hit about 30degC, it hovered in the mid-20s.

The entertainment included dog trials, an agrisport event, the ever popular pet parade, which attracted 25 entries, a waterslide organised by the Ranfurly Fire Brigade and demonstrations by motorbike trials riders Gavin and Blake Fox.

A vast array of crafts, vegetables, art, flowers, baking and wool was displayed in the Maniototo Stadium, with exhibits from schoolchildren throughout the wider Maniototo district also on show.

Mr Steele told the crowd he had been associated with the show for about 30 years.

''I started off as a youngster, trying to help my Dad with the sheep ... I'm not sure how much help I was.

''But I'm really proud to be involved in an organisation which has lasted for 114 years.''

It had been another great season for farmers and the show was a day to ''celebrate everything rural'', he said.