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Strong show anticipated

Maurice Beatson from Waipukurau competing at last year’s Wairarapa A and P show at Carterton. PHOTO/FILE

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Organisers of the 141st Wairarapa A and P Show say they are gearing up for the biggest and busiest show yet.

Record numbers of horses, and entrants to the new event, Wellington’s Strongman [and woman], will feature at the Clareville Showgrounds this weekend.

Wairarapa A and P Society president Melvin Pike was busy on Wednesday getting the grounds ready for the show that started today.

“There’s quite a bit of work going on,” he said.

Pike, a keen animal and bird owner, will also bring along his 60-odd ducks and chickens.

The Pet’s Corner will feature some of his, and his grandchildren’s, pigs, goldfish and guinea pigs.

Pike has been involved with the show for a long time, but said he still enjoyed it.

“The kids who I used to coach at soccer and came here are now in their 30s and bringing their kids. They see me and say, ‘Crikey, are you still here?’”

No cattle will be at the show to prevent the spread of Mycoplasma bovis disease.

But Kapiti’s Woolly Manor Moos will be displaying a selection of its Highland cattle.

The society’s secretary, Catherine Lord, said the show was “looking really positive and it’s going to be really busy”.

The new competition to find Wellington’s strongest men and women had drawn an unexpectedly strong field of 22.

The competitors will go head-to-head in a tug-of-war with a couple of Clydesdale horses which Lord said would be a great watch.

There should be more than 300 horses and their owners staying at the grounds over the weekend. She expected another 200 horses to be brought in on the day.

Lord anticipated that the presence of the popular Valais sheep, and displays of horsemanship by Hawke’s Bay trainer Tui Teka on Sunday afternoon would be a hit.

Entry will cost $10 for adults, and $5 for children and superannuitants. Family passes will cost $20.

The Top Team school competition kicks things off this afternoon at 5.30pm. The show runs from 7.30am to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

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