Agri­cul­tural show turns 175

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BAYLEY MOOR

New Zealand’s old­est cel­e­bra­tion of all things agri­cul­tural is set to mark its 175th birth­day.

The old­est show which con­tin­ues to fea­ture eques­trian, live­stock and pro­duce com­pe­ti­tions as well as fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties was thought to be es­tab­lished in 1842, with the first gath­er­ings in Okai­hau.

The Wai­mate North Show run by the Bay of Is­lands Pas­toral and In­dus­trial As­so­ci­a­tion is now well es­tab­lished at the show­grounds in Wai­mate North with a back­drop of puriri trees and the show hall which still stands af­ter it was con­structed in 1891 for un­der $200 (or at the time 78 pounds one shilling and sev­en­pence).

Over the years more tra­di­tional events such as side-sad­dle eques­trian and fat lamb com­pe­ti­tions have waned with new ini­tia­tives es­tab­lished such as a food and wine fes­ti­val - al­though side sad­dle is mak­ing a re­turn for this year’s event.

The 2017 show will fea­ture eques­tri­ans (of sev­eral breeds) and cat­tle events which have been granted Royal sta­tus by the Royal Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety.

It will be­gin with some horse events on Novem­ber 10 with the main fes­tiv­i­ties on Novem­ber 11.

Trade sites, a her­itage sec­tion, live mu­sic and other ac­tiv­i­ties will round out the day’s en­ter­tain­ment, along with spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tions to long-serv­ing vol­un­teers.

Pres­i­dent Don Jack, who rode to his first show from Pakaraka in the 1950’s, says the show’s set­ting is beau­ti­ful.

‘‘Not only the hall, but the old puriri trees, the whole set­ting is quite unique,’’ Jack says.

He says it’s a great fam­ily day out.

‘‘We try to cater for all ages, in terms of the se­lec­tion of an­i­mals and en­ter­tain­ment. It’s the first spring show, so ev­ery­one can come and have a jolly good day out.’’

Jack says the win­ners in the royal eques­trian and cat­tle events will re­ceive a royal sash and rib­bon.

‘‘It will be very pres­ti­gious for win­ners to have that in their tro- phy cab­i­net,’’ he says.

The show comes af­ter 12 months of hard work by the com­mit­tee and a loyal band of vol­un­teers who he says hold the show near and dear to their hearts.

Up to 6000 peo­ple went through the show’s gate last year, and an es­ti­mated 400 an­i­mals.

Gates open at 8am on Novem­ber 11.

The show vol­un­teers at a re­cent work­ing bee.

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