Cheviot A & P Show in North Canterbury is very typical of so many country shows around the New Zealand. It’s a chance for the community to get together, and a chance for those in the towns to connect even more with their country neighbours.
Cheviot is just a small town with less than 500 residents in the township itself but is the heart of a strong farming community. The show has been going for well over a century.
Equestrian events at these shows have always been popular and while the numbers of competitors are not what they used to be, 20 – or even 10 – years ago, there is still enough for the round-the-ring and showing competitions to remain a vital part of the fun. Most A & P Shows also have some form of show jumping competitions, and Cheviot adds in the stockhorse category. The two-jump challenge is particularly popular with the crowds; this year the jump got to a height of 1.50m and 1.60m wide, and was won by experienced show jumper, Louise Marriott.
The Country Calendar crew were at the Cheviot show this year, filming for an upcoming programme featuring the local McClintock family. Grandad Graham has been a feature of Canterbury equestrian scene for a long time, and still actively competes in his early 80s. He had entered in the show but unfortunately had to withdraw after being knocked over by a sheep earlier in the week. His granddaughters Louisa and Georgia were keeping the family in ribbons, however.
As well as equestrian events, dog trials, baking, wool clips, shearing, sheep, art, steer riding, handcraft, flowers, vegetables and fruit have been in the Cheviot programme for a long time. This year there was a new version of the Gift Lamb class as the 72 lambs (donated to the show) were judged on the hoof, on the hook and then the taste test was held at the show. Another competition attracting a lot of laughs was Blokes in Aprons: the cake decorating efforts were very commendable.
One of the biggest challenges facing this type of show is the volunteers who are needed to keep it going. While there were obviously enough at Cheviot, there are many other show committees who are very worried about the strain that is placed on the fewer and fewer active volunteers.
We hope you enjoy our gallery of photos from the show.