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Iconic country event cancelled

Deciding to cancel this year’s Wairarapa A and P show due to the risk of covid-19 was not an easy decision said society secretary Catherine Lord and president Melvin Pike. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

Gianina Schwanecke

For the first time in 143 years of running, the iconic Wairarapa A and P Show held at Clareville will not be going ahead due to ongoing concerns about covid-19 transmission and traceability risk, organisers say.

It was not an easy decision, Wairarapa A and P Show Society president Melvin Pike said.

“It’s about being responsible.

“This covid-19 pandemic has been hard on our members as a lot of them are older and more vulnerable.

“We want to look after our members and the community.”

Pike has been involved with the society for more than 40 years and said he was more disappointed than anybody.

“It’s sad for everybody.”

Normally held in late October, he said the event drew a lot of people from out of the district, with more than 10,000 people attending the Friday night event and another 9000 on the Saturday and Sunday.

“We have a family show. Last year’s show was fantastic due to the great crowd.”

The organising committee didn’t feel they had the facilities or capabilities to carry out contact tracing in case someone was found to have covid-19.

The horse show, which attracts around 400 horses and their riders to the Clareville grounds, would still go ahead this year, as the registration process for the competition made it more manageable to trace if necessary.

The hoedown competition would also go ahead this year as a ticketed-only event for the same reasons.

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