Mounted police and St John Ambulance officers were so successful at last year's National Agricultural Fieldays that they are back this year.

Husband and wife police officers Bill and Karen Eivers have been patrolling the Fieldays at Mystery Creek, south of Hamilton, on horseback to maintain a high profile police presence at the event, which began yesterday and ends on Saturday.

A Waikato police spokesman said mounted police were an active deterrent to anybody considering theft or other crimes at Fieldays.

"They do a lot of patrolling around the carpark areas and also people can see them a lot further away. It's proved very successful because we made a number of arrests last year from it."


So far this year there had been no arrests.

Two St John Ambulance staff were also on horseback at the event, the largest agricultural expo in Australasia.

Also drawing attention at Fieldays yesterday was a Shotgun Wedding dress, on show at the Ag Art Wear wearable art awards.

The dress, by Wanganui designer Sharon Bryant, also features a boat float, a duck decoy, an old cap, and a white silage cover.

It is one of dozens of entries being paraded twice a day at the Fieldays this week.

Mystery Creek Events Centre event co-ordinator Adam Reinsfield said entries had to be made out of agricultural products.

Designers from New Zealand and Australia entered the awards, which have been running for 18 years.

The four categories, including landcare awareness, designer traditional, under-21 and avant garde, are vying for total prizemoney of $12,000.

The winner will be announced at tomorrow afternoon's show before a gala dinner featuring the entries at Wintec's Atrium in Hamilton in the evening.