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March 18th 2010
Published: March 18th 2010
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First Marshall Your Humans …

As I pushed the bike off the coal-fired steamer Earnslaw at Walter Peak Station, I heard a voice marshalling everyone except us cyclists. Like sheep, they moved in a great flock towards a paddock. The “voice” was a man wearing a leather hat with a curled brim and expensive looking clothing that would have been more in keeping in one of Queenstown’s fashionable stores.
Soon the “voice” was marshalling sheep, demonstrating to his flock of humans how one man and a couple of dogs could exercise control. It was probably a good demonstration, and the tourists probably enjoyed it.

A Truly Kiwi Environment

But I was glad I’d gone to Wanaka’s A and P Show a couple of days beforehand. There I’d seen farmers and their dogs competing in a truly kiwi environment - it was a glimpse of the real New Zealand. And not only were there dog trials, but also show jumping, and competitions for animal breeding, wool and even floral arrangements.
And to cap it all off, there were the Topp Twins. The lesbian sisters were a huge hit with the supposedly conservative farmers as they poked fun at themselves, their audience and everyone else. As usual they came out with some songs (including a tribute to a shepherd’s best friend) and some classic one-liners that included a reference to giving birth, “it’s like having a pot roast come out your nose.”

A Missed Opportunity

In amongst the crowds were a few tourists in a town overrun with them. But not many had found their way to the A and P Show and I couldn‘t help feeling those not there were missing out on the joys of horse poo, the whiff of hotdogs and tomato sauce and offers from trade displays that included “buy three soil tests and get the fourth one free“.

Rural Life - Alive And Well

To me, the A and P Show was somehow reassuring - that life in rural New Zealand is alive and well. And for the $10 entry fee, it had to be a bargain.

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Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


Cute n CuddlyCute n Cuddly
Cute n Cuddly

From so called Gentle Giants (South Devon) to this little fellow, there was a bewildering variety of livestock.
A Use For Dead Cabbage LeavesA Use For Dead Cabbage Leaves
A Use For Dead Cabbage Leaves

I spent part of an evening chatting to a farming couple. We nenver did get around to introductions, but the woman explained her entry in detail in the A & P Show's floral section. The next day I found it, and discovered Mrs Helen Miller had won second prize in the Wanaka Auto Repairs Novice Dancing Leaves Section. The vase is carefully covered in trimmed, dead cabbage leaves. The prize was $10.
Picket RemoverPicket Remover
Picket Remover

This man's operating a gadget which removes metal pickets (or waratahs). To the left is a machine which uses compressed air to ram them in. A quick way of putting up fences.
Hitting The WallHitting The Wall
Hitting The Wall

This little guy took a while to get the hang of steering, and until he did he spent most of his time stalled against the crash barriers.
Topp Twins On StageTopp Twins On Stage
Topp Twins On Stage

They were a crowd pleaser, poking fun at everyone including themselves and breaking into song. At this point of the performance, they have a goat up on stage, but it's hard to spot.
Strange CompetitionStrange Competition
Strange Competition

This pony and its handler are competing in a strange competition that involved throwing balls through hoops - a bit like basketball. The hoops were so close though, they couldn't miss. Weird!

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