Olympic rower a hit at 99th show

Olympic gold medallist Nathan Cohen lent his gold medal to show president Brian Falconer. Photos by Helena de Reus. Photo by Helena de Reus.
Olympic gold medallist Nathan Cohen lent his gold medal to show president Brian Falconer. Photos by Helena de Reus. Photo by Helena de Reus.
Dark clouds and the occasional rain shower did not put off crowds as thousands flocked to Tapanui on Saturday for the 99th annual West Otago A and P Show.

One stall owner shrugged off questions about the weather, saying: "You either need your sunscreen or your gumboots at a West Otago show".

Slideshow: West Otago A and P Show 

Society president Brian Falconer said the show went well, despite fewer entries than hoped for due to the Canterbury A and P Show only wrapping up the day before.

Mr Falconer said the group planned to build on the success of last year's Royal Show marking 100 years of the West Otago A and P Society.

"Last year we showed we could run a much better show.

We're aiming to keep future shows at that level or even higher."

Although the society has been in existence for 101 years this year, its 100th show will be held next year, because of three years of recess during World War 2.

Plans were already under way for the 100th show, Mr Falconer said.

Tractor dancing returned again this year, with magic shows and shearing competitions running throughout the day.

The major drawcards were Olympic gold medallist Nathan Cohen and Master Chef finalist Jax Hamilton. Cohen opened the show, held two meet-and-greet sessions, and challenged show-goers to a rowing machine time trial.

The Southland athlete won a gold medal in the double sculls at this year's London Olympics, partnering Joseph Sullivan.