The Malvern A&P Show is held at Sheffield Domain (Sheffield is a small village approximately 50kms west of Christchurch, on SH73 which heads over Arthur’s Pass and on to the West Coast). In another life I was the secretary for the Southland A&P Association in Invercargill, so I know just how much work goes into the organising of these events, and also how many, many voluntary hours are put in by committee members and others. With one-day shows such as these the weather can be absolutely crucial: get a cold, wet day and people stay away, the stock don’t look their best, the stock handlers would rather be anywhere inside having a beer and a yarn to mates, the secretary gets really cranky because everyone keeps asking if it’s going to be called off because of the weather … it’s not pretty, let me tell you! However, in Malvern’s case this year, they couldn’t have asked for a better day: sun from dawn ’til dusk, crowds of excited, happy show-goers (and that was just the parents), contented stock, cool-as-cool stock handlers, very excited ice-cream vendors, and (I would imagine) a happy and satisfied president and committee at the completion of the day.
Here’s my attempt to sum it all up in a series of photos.
The Alpacas (who get a section all of their own ‘cos they’re SO cute!!)
Fun Things to Do (if you’re a kid, that is)
Big and Beefy (and Beautiful!)
Homecraft and School Children
Do you see the clever use of vegetables in this ‘floral’ display?
Competitors must build their own machines, although they may use existing lawnmowers as a base, and there must be no blades or cutting mechanisms: other than that, creativity is the name of the game! Some had no brakes, nor a reverse gear, and there was even mention of a V8 engine in one of them – how true that was, I’m not sure, but there was some pretty fierce competition out there …
This was a team effort, with two handlers per dog: the dogs were tantalised first by having a dead and – according to the commentator – very smelly rabbit dragged across in front of them twice, and then raced in front of them down to the other handler who was stationed about 50 metres away. The second handler then had to pick up their dog and run back to the starting line, so it wasn’t only a test of how fast the dogs were, but also how fast their handlers were too!
Dog High Jump
Two separate sections in this, one for small dogs and one for large – although it was pretty amazing how high some of those small dogs could jump!
Where would we be without them?
Kudos to the St John Ambulance volunteers who turn up so willingly at so many events: thanks, guys!
And finally, The Grand Parade!
Miniature Horses (aren’t they cute?!)
Pet Lambs, Calves, Cows, Sheep and Dogs
And last, but not least – how’s this for a Horse Transporter Extraordinaire??!
Ah, yes, all the fun of a rural show – happy days!!