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Ruling the roost at show

By Chelsea Boyle

[email protected]

It’s the animals that keep people coming back to the Wairarapa A&P show, according to volunteer Sally Barrett.

Mrs Barrett recently received an inquiry from a woman who had not been to the show in the past decade but wanted to take her 2-year-old daughter this year – if her daughter could see a chicken.

Luckily for the toddler, there will be about 60 birds on show alongside the donkeys, guinea pigs, rabbits and ducks that regularly attract families.

When the family events begin on Saturday, Basil Arnott will be ready to answer any questions visitors might have about their new feathery friends.

Mr Arnott has been taking care of chickens for the past 60 years.

As a youngster, he found that understanding what worked well for chickens “came naturally” to him.

It quickly became a lifelong passion.

“The number of people I have met through chickens is unreal.

“You’d be surprised who has them in the backyard,” he said.

Now he is passionate about making sure that chickens, in a variety of colours, will be around for breeders and enthusiasts in the future.

Traditional farm stock plays a large role in the show, with entries in the beef competition growing to 20.

The opportunity to connect urban people with the reality of rural life was important, Mrs Barrett said.

The A&P show starts today with equestrian events.

It is also open on Saturday and Sunday for a wider variety of activities which include shearing, wood chopping, dog trials and livestock judging.

Entry costs are $10 for adults, and $5 for children and those over 65.

Family passes are also available.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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