Smashing pumpkin

Inch Clutha brothers Oliver, 9, and Austin, 6, Law. PHOTO: NICOLA LAW
Inch Clutha brothers Oliver, 9, and Austin, 6, Law. PHOTO: NICOLA LAW
A 6-year-old has smashed last year’s record for the biggest giant pumpkin entered in a South Otago competition.

The South Otago A&P Society’s (SOAP) annual competition was held last Sunday, and Austin Law, of Inch Clutha, claimed first place with his "monster" pumpkin.

The pumpkin weighed in at 124kg - 19.5kg bigger than last year’s winner grown by Balclutha woman Nicola Crossan.

Austin, his brother Oliver, and his parents Nicola and Matthew, entered a pumpkin each - something they enjoy doing each year. The seeds the family planted were supplied to every contestant by the SOAP Society, to ensure a fair competition.

The family started growing their entries inside, and once they got big enough they moved them outside to a designated spot.

Austin selected a spot apart from the rest of the family.

He put towels on his pumpkin on cold nights and took them off during the day.

His mother Nicola said he was "thrilled" with the win.

"It just took off in growth compared to the others. It was incredible to watch it grow.

"We didn’t want to get his hopes up just in case someone else had something bigger.

"When it was announced he won, he was so pleased.

"We think maybe it was daylight saving hours and the area he put his pumpkin, but we’re not too sure.

"He is thrilled to not only take out the Law family competition, which we have among the four of us, but the society competition, and get a new record."

Austin took his prize pumpkin to Warepa School to show and teach others.

"We’re very thankful to the SOAP Society for the efforts they put into the day each year," Mrs Law said.

"It’s become a tradition in our household."

Second place went to J. Gardyne, whose pumpkin weighed 85.5kg.

SOAP Society president Bridget Lowry said the day turned out "great".

"We did think more people would come along to the competition and market day, but overall the day was still fantastic," she said.

"We’re very thankful to Power Farming, Case and Claas, along with all of our organisers.

"Richard Abernethy was fantastic with his bouncy castle and all of our entertainment was great, too."

Other winners were Ryan McLeod for "Best in Show", James and Renae Martin for "Conventional Hay Bale", R. Chalmers for "Best Large Hay", Brian Smith for the Joseph Cross Memorial Trophy and Jackson Lowry for the Kelly family trophy "Best Overall Bale".