The 2015 Hawke's Bay Show next week doubles as the Royal New Zealand A&P Show, the first time in 12 years it has been hosted in the region.
The countdown is on with less than a week remaining before the start of the 2015 Hawke’s Bay Show .
With this year’s three-day show – which begins on Wednesday, October 21 and finishes on Hawke’s Bay Anniversary Day on Friday, October 23 – also doubling as the Royal New Zealand A&P Show for the first time in 12 years, expectations are high, admits show manager Maria Gourlie.
“Because it’s a Royal Show there’s a more upbeat feel about it. People are expecting it to be a little bit slicker and a little bit bigger – which it is – so we’ve got a huge, busy programme over the three days with something for everybody,” Gourlie said.
To meet those expectations, Gourlie said she and her team were putting in some long hours on the ground at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Showgrounds in Hastings "seven days a week”.
“It’s organised chaos” laughed Gourlie, who is filling in while regular Hawke’s Bay A&P Society events manager Anna Hamilton is off on maternity leave.
The show normally attracts a crowd of around 30,000 people over the three days but given it is also a Royal Show this year, Gourlie expected numbers “to be up” in 2015.
The coveted tri-colour Royal Show ribbons on offer in the expanded beef, dairy cattle and sheep showing classes had resulted in an influx of entries from breeders around the country, she said.
“Most of the breeds are represented, We have attracted entries from all over New Zealand across the beef, sheep and other sections, so I would definitely say it’s a bit larger than normal,” she said.
There would also be a Young Handler and Young Judges' competition in the beef and dairy cattle classes, while the judges from the UK and Australia had been brought in to cast their eye over the expanded sheep section.
While the rural side of the show had been “beefed up”, Gourlie said “on the other side of the fence” there was the equestrian events, which included showing classes and a new showjumping event
A showjumper herself, Gourlie has organised the new $10,000 “Two Bays” showjumping event, which will feature at least 14 entries including one rider-horse combination from Canterbury.
A new $10,000 Two Bay Showjumping event will debut at this year's Hawke's Bay Royal Show.
Open to riders in the National Series classes, entrants have to compete in both the Poverty Bay Show in Gisborne this week as well as the Hawke’s Bay Show, with the top six point scorers sharing in the $10,000 cash-and-product prize pool.
“It’s the first time ever we have we done it. We were trying to attract showjumpers to both the Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay Shows and I think it’s worked,” she said.
Gourlie said along with more than 200 dogs competing in the sheep dog trials, there would be shearing, fleece wool and wood-chopping competitions, more than 200 trade exhibitors, new agri-business events and hospitality areas as well as the ever-popular sideshow alley and Mahons Amusements.
2015 ROYAL SHOW DATES
Wednesday 21 October 2015, 8.30am - 5pm
Thursday 22 October 2015, 8.30am - 5pm
Friday 23 October 2015, 8.30am - 5pm
Some special features:
Ronald McDonald Shows 11am and 2pm Wednesday
New Zealand's top Timbersports Axemen Competition, all Day Thursday and Friday
ANZ Seminar with Cam Bagrie, Orton Cafe at the Show Thursday 9.30am
Meat & Wool Cup, Cattle Arena Thursday 3.30pm
PRO Plan Terrier Race, front of Grandstand Friday 1pm
Deco City Motor Lodge Grand Parade Friday 1.15pm
Lawn Mower Racing, all day Friday
Family Pass $35
(Provides gate entry for 2 Adults, 3 Children aged 5-13years)
Child (5-13yrs) $10
Student (under 19yrs with valid ID) $10
Senior Citizens $10
Children under 5 are free
Tickets are available for purchase before the Show from the Hastings i-site as well as from Showgrounds Hawke’s Bay office until Tuesday October at 5pm.