Springston goes to the an­i­mals

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MATTHEW SAL­MONS

Kids, par­ents, teach­ers and a whole menagerie en­joyed their time in the sun for the Springston Pet Day pa­rade on Fri­day.

As well as the tra­di­tional pa­rade, there was judg­ing of the an­i­mals, agri­cul­tural projects to be handed in, a shear­ing demon­stra­tion and a lamb race.

The an­nual event had been or­gan­ised by teacher Al­lana Tay­lor for more than 10 years and was now a ‘‘well oiled ma­chine’’.

Tay­lor said the event in­cluded ‘‘weird and won­der­ful’’ pets as well as your stan­dard dogs, cats, calves and lambs. She said they also wel­comed guests from nearby early child­hood cen­tres and re­tire­ment homes to give it a real com­mu­nity feel.

Springston prin­ci­pal Dianne Pren­der­gast said that be­ing a ru­ral school, they could still run a pet day and kids still en­joyed it.

‘‘It brings out heaps of great char­ac­ter­is­tics in the kids when they look af­ter and take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their an­i­mals.’’

She said one of the school’s key val­ues was ar­tic­u­la­tion, and speak­ing to the judges about their an­i­mals was a great way to demon­strate that.

‘‘We’re re­ally grate­ful for the com­mu­nity sup­port we get from the judges,’’ Pred­er­gast said.

One of those judges, Cather­ine Craw, had been as­sess­ing en­tries at the Springston Pet Day for five years. She said en­tries were judged on both knowl­edge of the an­i­mal and how it was cared for.

‘‘Ba­si­cally, it’s not the type of an­i­mal, but how they’re looked af­ter and how the kids in­ter­act with it,’’ Craw said.

Fi­nal year Springston pupil Lucy, 12, handed in her first agri­cul­tural project at two years old, adamant she would be in­volved along­side her two older sis­ters.

The three sis­ters had al­ways en­tered lambs, she said, and this year was no dif­fer­ent. Lucy raised her lamb Ri­ley for 16 weeks af­ter tem­po­rar­ily adopt­ing it from a neigh­bour­ing farm.

Projects de­tailed both the process of rais­ing and train­ing an an­i­mal as well as de­tails on the species in gen­eral. She said it could be quite hard to give the lamb back at the end of the project.

‘‘I don’t want to give her back this year. I think I started [the project] in Au­gust and I fin­ished it the day be­fore you had to hand it in.’’

Al­though she had re­ceived her first top prize at three, Lucy was pleased she could fin­ish her ca­reer in pri­mary school pet days with an­other first place.

MATTHEW SAL­MONS/STUFF

Lucy (sec­ond from left), 12, took out first place in the lamb cater­gory.

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