Huts for show; mower rage out

Lake Hayes A and P Show participants (from left) Bamford McLeod co-director Richard Bamford,  Connor McLeod (6), Housemart rented properties manager Hayley Stevenson and Bamford McLeod co-director Andy McLeod, and show committee president Mike Smith (crouching), of Cone Peak Station, present an example of one of the three children's playhouses to be assembled at the show on Saturday, January 14. Photo by James Beech.
Lake Hayes A and P Show participants (from left) Bamford McLeod co-director Richard Bamford,  Connor McLeod (6), Housemart rented properties manager Hayley Stevenson and Bamford McLeod co-director Andy McLeod, and show committee president Mike Smith (crouching), of Cone Peak Station, present an example of one of the three children's playhouses to be assembled at the show on Saturday, January 14. Photo by James Beech.
Rules aimed at preventing another outbreak of "mower rage" will be in force for the annual lawnmower race at the 97th annual Lake Hayes Agricultural and Pastoral Show on Saturday.

The 2011 race attracted worldwide headlines after rival ride-on mower racers traded punches after one mower shunted another.

Show committee president Mike Smith, of Cone Peak Station, yesterday said track modifications and new rules limited the size and weight of competing mowers, which would preclude machines like the larger model used last year from taking part.

"While we don't condone the actions of the two, it undoubtedly increased the exposure of the show and people are aware there are great fun activities," Mr Smith said.

Officially called the Lake County A and P Show, the event at the picturesque Lake Hayes showgrounds will have a gold theme to launch year-long celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold in Central Otago.

Between 5000 and 7000 residents, traders and visitors are expected to browse about 80 stalls and enjoy a packed schedule of entertainment.

The day will feature comedian Te Radar and magician Jonathan Usher, plus shearing, showjumping, dog trials, petting zoo, food, wine, face-painting, gold-panning, a lolly scramble, traction engine, barbecue competition, a Fire Service display, Fashion in the Field, the Queenstown and Southern Lakes Highland Pipe Band, the Shotover Country Music Club and more.

Mr Smith said in a new event this year, three teams of builders would put together prefabricated children's playhouses. The competitors would have to get the houses fixed to trailers in time for the grand parade, at noon.

"The aim of the competition is to raise some funds for the Cancer Society and the show. It's going to get split half-and-half and one [house] is going to be raffled for $2 a ticket and the other two will be auctioned after the grand parade."