A & P Show best of bunch

Rex Upton (16 months) from Whangarei was visiting the A&P Show with his mum. She said they were visiting friends in Cambridge over the weekend and saw the animals, so they stopped in because he loves animals. He did too, he was very interested in them and got right in amongst it patting the goats and feeding them grass and letting one lick his face.

Despite competing with Equitana Auckland last weekend, Cambridge’s 114th annual A&P Show attracted a strong showing, leaving organisers “rapt”.

“It went really well…we had some of the best entries that we’ve seen so far this season at any of the mid-northern shows,” said Cambridge A&P Society president and chief horse steward Anne Hjorth.

“We had 300 plus entries in the equestrian section, over 25 exhibitors in the beef and dairy cattle sectors and over 50 children’s calf entries,” she said.

“On our equestrian side, we started at 8.30 in the morning in some sections and we were only just finishing up at 6.30 at night.  It was a very long day for us but overall we were very happy.”

In a highlight this year, a special commemorative ribbon celebrating the 45th year of the Welsh pony section was claimed by Lorien Juliana, bred by Karin Klages-Bowskill.

Long-serving A&P society member Marion Lusby, who turns 90 on December 3, remembers when the section started.  She competed in it in its early days and has run it for many years.

The local stalwart has also been a long-serving member of the Cambridge A&P Society committee and is a life member and patron of the show.

“She’s amazing; incredible,” Anne said.

“Nothing’s ever too hard for her.  Every year she goes out of her way to approach all her local people that she knows and gets little prizes and sponsorship for her section.  She’s very well respected.  I don’t know what we’re going to do when she stops helping.”

Another highlight of the show this year was a new class for thoroughbred horses off the track boasting a $1000 prize purse sponsored by Shaune Ritchie Racing.

Cambridge’s Frank Ritchie, who trained the legendary Bonecrusher, judged the event with race commentator and bloodstock agent Bruce Sherwin and Masterton’s Roz Southey.

Paris Kingston-White, who is originally from Ohaupo and now lives in Hamilton, took out the contest riding Brentwood Dazzle.

“We had 28 entries of thoroughbreds and 25 competitors and we had a huge crowd turn out to watch that,” Anne said.

This year the Ron Cooper Memorial award was presented in the cattle section and won by Ultimate Goldwyn Shiver, bred by David and Pip Fullerton.

Anne said the society was grateful to local businesses and “a small but hard-working team of committee members” who worked through thick and thin to ensure everything ran smoothly on the day.

“We would love to see the show get to its 125th or even 150th year if future generations come on board,” she said.

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