Big changes to A&P show after rain

Judy Weild
Judy Weild
Organisers of tomorrow’s South Otago A&P Show in Balclutha have opted for a "plan B" following this week’s wet weather.

Secretary Heather Dudfield said yesterday the show would go ahead under a different format. There would be no horses, goats, sheep, alpacas or cattle on display and other outside events would be moved inside.

Tonight’s events had also been cancelled.

"The grounds are very wet and we don’t want to run them and damage the grounds for other future events in the community ...  It will be like a big indoor show — more like a market."

She confirmed show favourites would remain including the show queens. Plans to welcome back a donkey section would also go ahead. The region’s four-legged variety would also be joined by recent viral sensation and three-legged megastar the Wonky Donkey, and creator Craig Smith.

In September, Mr Smith’s popular children’s book Wonky Donkey made global headlines after a Youtube clip of Scottish grandmother Janice Clark, unable to contain her laughter while reading the book to her  grandson Archer, went viral.

Since that time, US publisher Scholastic had informed Mr Smith it planned to print an additional 500,000 copies to meet renewed demand.

Although the clamour for his book had been matched by an increased demand for public performances, Mr Smith said he was looking forward to honouring his long-standing appointment at  tomorrow’s South Otago show.

"I won’t see royalties from the global sales for six months so nothing has changed for me right now. However, Janice the Scottish Granny was recently flown business class to the flagship Barnes and Noble store in New York to do a reading of Wonky Donkey. But the joke is on her, really, because I get to travel to Balclutha in my Hiace van."

Teacher and donkey breeder Judy Weild, of Lovells Flat, near Milton, said she had met Mr Smith and enjoyed his book.

"My pupils and I all love the book. It certainly brings a lot of happy attention to these lovely animals."

Mrs Weild was pleased to see the A&P show’s donkey section return for a second year.

"We’ve got seven donkeys and an ass here, but I’ll probably only take two with me on Saturday."

• South Otago A&P Show, Balclutha Recreation Centre, Glasgow St, Saturday 9am-4pm.

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