Well turned out horses will be replaced by strapping young farmers at the next Warkworth A&P Show on Saturday, March 16, as the Northern regional finals of the NZ Young Farmer of the Year are being staged on the former equestrian fields at the showgrounds.
The horse and pony sections were dropped from the A&P following the decision to move the show from its traditional Auckland Anniversary weekend to March, as the new date clashes with the Horse of the Year Show.
However, the space will be filled with Young Farmers, Junior Young Farmers and teams of AgriKids all vying to win regional tournaments and titles in a range of skills tests, sports challenges and races.
The main event is the contest between eight young farmers to win a place in the Grand Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year, including three local contenders from Kaipara Young Farmers Club.
Daniel Richards, 21, of Tomarata, Jack Bellamy, 18, of Waipu and Brody Goodmon, 20, of Wellsford came first, third and fourth respectively in the Upper North district heat on November 3. They will face seven practical modules at the showgrounds, ranging from stock handling and judging through to diverse practical and technical challenges using various farming equipment and vehicles.
The event will be compèred by Te Radar, an old friend of the Warkworth A&P Show, who will also host the evening quiz, dinner and prizegiving at Warkworth Town Hall that evening.
Headline act on the main A&P show stage will be New Zealand Music Awards winner and alt-country singer Jamie McDell, who will play a one-hour set in the afternoon.
Jamie, who released her third solo album, Extraordinary Girl, in May, visits the area regularly, as her parents live in Mangawhai. She picked up the award for best pop album at the NZ music awards in 2013 for Six Strings and a Sailboat and has reached the NZ Top 40 singles chart on six occasions, including with her first hit, You’ll Never Take That Away, which reached number 11 in 2012.
Other attractions at the show will include miniature horse classes and demonstrations, a dog agility display and a more extensive goat section, plus old favourites like the sheep shearing and woodchopping competitions.
Schools are being invited to compete in team games and kapa haka, and the indoor section is being revamped with new classes and prizes to suit the change in season, including a biggest pumpkin contest.
Show society chairman Allan Barber says although it is sad to lose the horses and the cattle section (due to cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis), there will be plenty going on to keep show-goers entertained.
“There will be something on the main stage all day,” he says. “We have a clear view of what we’re doing and the new committee is working well.”
For further information and show schedules, email firstname.lastname@example.org