The Hawke's Bay A and P Society is hoping to be back to running a full-scale Royal New Zealand Show next year after a surprisingly successful downsized show.
But both outgoing president Simon Collin, who is in the last 12 months of his four-year term, and general manager Sally Jackson concede the uncertainty of the ongoing Covid 19 crisis means the 157-year-old show could be back in the same situation as 2020 - a competitors and supporters-only show, with an attached amusements carnival.
Collin, a southern Hawke's Bay cattle breeder who amid the downsizing's cancellation of major stock classes was unable to defend the Meat and Wool Cup won by his charolais for the third time last year, said the society was "very pleased" with what had been a show with mainly increased entries for those sections that still ran, the involvement of up to 300 volunteers, and the "great" weather.
"We were careful about the cost, and we built-in [to the planning] the situation of maybe having to downsize further or cancel at a very late stage," he said.
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Even the small number of society employees were pushed into multi-tasking, including Jackson, at stages seen in a near-waitressing role in the members marquee.
Among the big successes were Canterbury equestrienne and defending New Zealand FEI World Cup qualifying series champion Tegan Fitzsimon riding Wintermere Cappucino to victory in the opening round of the new series, which attracted 12 riders and provided an all-female podium finish.
New Zealand representatives David Buick, from Pongaroa, and Joel Henare, of Gisborne, won the open shearing and woolhandling finals respectively at the Great Raihania Shears, in which competitors include shearing second and third placegetters Leon Samuels and Brett Roberts, from Southland, and former Hawke's Bay shearer Phil Wedd, from Northland.
Wedd's son, Cayzer, based in Oamaru but back in Hawke's Bay for work, won the senior shearing final.
The sheep dog trials attracted near-record entries from as far away as Northland. The locals were shut out of the top placings by the visitors, with the win going to veteran Poverty Bay pairing Rod Mead, 75, and 10-year-old dog Lad.
The show's farm fencing doubles championship, also on Friday, had 36 entries. The main title was won for a third time by multiple champion Hawke's Bay father-and-son Shane and Tony Bouskill. Sole female entrant Chloe Butcher-Herries, of Puketapu, with workmate James Crysell claimed winning honours among three pairs from a New Zealand Fencing Competitions' "bootcamp" training day held on Thursday.
While the three-days of traditional show rural events ended on Friday, the associated Mahons Amusements Hawke's Bay Mega Fun Carnival continued throughout the weekend, including night-shows on Friday and Saturday. It ends tomorrow.