Cattle and horses disappear from A&P

The 2019 Warkworth A&P Show will be run without two of its biggest traditional sections, cattle and equestrian, when it moves to its new date of March 16 next year.

The show committee has joined a string of agricultural societies in dropping dairy and beef classes in a bid to minimise the risk of spreading Mycoplasma bovis.

And the equestrian section has also foundered, following the retirement of long-standing chief steward Genette Churches and the death last month of Kevin Cholmondeley-Smith, the chairman of the Northern District of the Royal Agricultural Society, who had  been set to run the 300-plus horse and pony classes as a separate event on the A&P show’s traditional Auckland Anniversary weekend. The section was unable to move with the main show to March due to a clash with the national Horse of the Year Show.

Warkworth A&P chairman Allan Barber said he hoped both sections might return in future years.

He added that there was going to be a significant change of emphasis at the new-look autumn show. “It’s much more about entertainment, to bring people through the gate and to provide lots of activity in the main arena,” he said.

The main attraction will be alt-country singer Jamie McDell, who will perform a one-hour set in the main arena. Other drawcards will include the Rodney Districts Miniature Horse Club, Warkworth Dog Training Club and gumboot throwing.

Ticket prices are being reduced this year, from $40 to $30 for a family pass, or $15 for adults and children under 14 free.

At the A&P Show committee’s recent general meeting, a new committee was elected as follows: Warren Churches, president; Allan Barber, chairman; Grant Henderson, vice chairman; Vanessa Barber, treasurer; Penny Webster, secretary.