Royal New Zealand Show

Royal New Zealand Show

Today is the start of four days of celebrations “When Country Comes to Town”.  Formerly known as the Canterbury A&P (agricultural and pastoral) Show, it has been held every year since 1862.  I’m sorry to be missing it this year, it is a lot of fun for photographers too!

matching father and daughter

I deliberately missed an opportunity for a great photograph of this pair.  Father and daughter were crouched down beside a pen containing freshly shorn sheep. I could have put three heads with almost identical hairstyles (or woolstyles) into the same frame.  Problem was, there was a good chance of getting thumped if the largest  of the three took offence!  I whimped out and settled for this rear view.

The wood chopping and sawing events are a great crowd pleaser, especially when the field includes a few world champions.  Age appears to be no limit to competition: skill and experience can often offset brute strength.

The jigger chop, where the axemen work their way up a pole, standing on boards inserted into notches cut as they go, can be quite terrifying to watch.  A solid board is essential if they are to put much power into each blow.

world champion axesman Jason Winyard

World champion Jason Winyard was a class above most of the others,  although he was pushed hard by another world champion, Sonny Bolstead.  New Zealand seems to have quite a few world champions, especially on a per capita basis!

Some of the animals are especially cute and of course the children have a great time.  I’ve posted a heap of images from the past few years on my image site, see the Canterbury gallery .

The Canterbury anniversary day holiday also provides an opportunity for celebrations outside the show itself.  I can recall driving home from work last year along Lincoln Road and seeing the footpaths cluttered with lots of very wobbly people, dressed in their finest and clutching empty champagne glasses.

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