20 Nov 2015

Country Comes To Town

From Country Life, 9:29 pm on 20 November 2015

Cattle on show at New Zealand's largest A&P show have more demure hairstyles than their United States counterparts.

Judge Jonnie Johnson from Nebraska says he's had to adjust to the New Zealand style of showing.

Johnnie says "In shows in the United States it would be more like a woman going to a beauty salon is how the hair would be on the livestock compared to how it is here, but the quality of cattle is very similar, we probably just carry it more to an extreme of how we want'em to be presented".

Johnnie has been judging stock at the Canterbury A& P show alongside fellow judges from Uruguay and Australia.

The Canterbury A & P has been running since 1863 and is held in Christchurch over three days each November.

It now attracts an average 100,000 visitors and more than 30 percent come from outside Christchurch.

This year Banks Peninsula farmer Nicky Hutchinson has become its first woman president.

The show's marketing and communications manager Nicola Henderson says one of the challenges is to make it a fun experience for children.

"This year we've doubled the size of the city farmyard because it's such a popular spot, so that means that we've been able to bring in more animals and we've got a special area where you can get close to rabbits, goats, ponies, lambs and dogs".

When Country Life's Cosmo Kentish-Barnes went through the gate on the first morning of the show he found a sheep maternity ward, discovered  duck herding, wandered through "Camp Gallipoli" and had a ring-side seat for the Canterbury excavator operator championships being held in nearby paddock.  

Get the new RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to Country Life

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)