Mt Benger A&P Show a cracker

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES - By BAR­BARA WITHING­TON

"Per­fect." Just one word was needed from so­ci­ety pres­i­dent Dick Michelle to sum up Satur­day’s 71st Mt Benger A&P Show.

"The weather’s great, the people are here and there is just so much go­ing on, what more could any­one ask?" Mr Michelle said at the Roxburgh Sports­ground.

"I am rapt with the lo­cal sup­port we have re­ceived, and the num­ber of clubs and in­di­vid­u­als who have got in be­hind us."

Of­fi­cially open­ing the event, Cen­tral Otago district coun­cil­lor Stephen Jef­fery said he could re­mem­ber as a child the an­tic­i­pa­tion of Mt Benger Show day and rid­ing a sheep or try­ing to catch the Greasy Pig.

"It is our yearly cel­e­bra­tion of all things ru­ral," Mr Jef­fery said.

Con­tin­u­ing her fam­ily’s cook­ing tra­di­tion was 11-year-old Greer Or­chard, who won first prize in the choco­late cake sec­tion. She was fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of her aunt Re­becca Dance, grand­mother Jean Dance and great-grand­mother Nora Gor­don over the years.

With the death of long-time veg­etable grower Harold Gloag, new names have be­gun to ap­pear on prize cards across many of the sec­tions with Kirsten May and Cur­tis Craw­ford again tak­ing out

Ken Har­li­wich drove his fam­ily’s 1916 White truck with his grand­chil­dren on board in the Grand Pa­rade at the show. most points and most en­tries, al­though sib­ling ri­valry saw Kirsten’s sis­ter, Vicky Whyte give them some se­ri­ous com­pe­ti­tion.

With up­grad­ing of the sports pavil­ion af­fect­ing some as­pects of the show struc­ture, Mr Michelle said the com­mit­tee would meet as soon as pos­si­ble to dis­cuss ways of mak­ing next year’s show an equally good or bet­ter one.

A phone call to Gemma Smith in Queen­stown on Thurs­day night in­vited her to "come with me to Roxburgh on Satur­day and bring your horse".

It proved a suc­cess­ful out­ing, with Smith and her horse Eric the Vik­ing win­ning five sashes.

"I have not com­peted at shows since I was 9, and that is 26 years ago, " Smith said as she wrapped the sashes around Eric’s neck.

She said she had kept up hack­ing by be­ing in­volved in a rid­ing club but had not con­sid­ered en­ter­ing the show un­til the phone call.

"So it was late en­try and four to five hours work to get him ready. I have not plaited a mane since I was 9, but for­tu­nately it is some­thing you don’t for­get."

She won the heavy­weight hunter sec­tion, was sec­ond in the novice hunter, third in the best pre­sented hunter and third in the best hunter suit­able for caval­cade, as well as re­serve hunter over­all.

Pho­tos: BAR­BARA WITHING­TON

Late en­try: Gem­maSmith with Eric the Vik­ing af­ter a suc­cess­ful morn­ing at the Mt Benger A&P Show.

Fam­ily out­ing:

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