Animals of all shapes and sizes have played a leading role at Peria School's annual gala for generations, and this year's event, staged on an initially gloomy Saturday, was no exception.

The weather did finally clear, however, and parents, families and the wider community turned up in droves. And there was plenty for them to see and do, indoors and out.

Classes were transformed into a sea of art and imaginative creations made by the students, from mini world dioramas, cyanotype prints and nature hangings to Hundertwasser-style artwork, radishes grown in their own garden, vaseline saucers, floral work, the ever-popular tastiest and best-looking baking and more.

Outside was no less impressive, pet judges Jo Borrie and Garth Riddle being confronted with an array of animals, from horses and dogs to chooks, rabbits and cats. Judging over, it was time for sack and three-legged races, then an impressive display of tug-o-war, while numerous stalls and other attractions kept everyone circulating.

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The dunking bucket was popular, with a hefty price put on the privilege of dousing board of trustees chair Rebekah Dangen and principal Ariana Williams.

There was also a digger challenge, dart games, chocolate games and many more, along with a very impressive plant stall organised by Te Awa class, scrunchies and slime made by Te Rangi, placemats made by Te Puna, and of the obligatory white elephant and baking stalls, wrapping up with a 'buckets up' raffle, strongly supported by a very generous business community and parents, who filled the buckets with some great prizes.

The school, as always, was also very grateful to the Peria A&P Association for its continued support.

The results of the animal competitions were as follows:

Horses: most versatile — Beautiful, Regan Moore 1, Pearl, Paige Lilly 2, Shiloh, Kylie Moyle 3. Best-groomed: Shiloh 1, Pearl 2, Beautiful 3. Best combination off lead: Dylan Moore and George 1, Regan Moore and Beautiful 2. Best combination on lead: Paige Lilly and Pearl 1, Kylie Moyle and Shiloh 2. McDowell Cup and champion horse/rider: Dylan Moore, George.

Dogs (juniors): most obedient — Noah Puntensen and Humphrey 1, Lachlan Wilde and Boyboy 2, Danni and Axel Jennings and Sonic 3. Grooming — Danni and Sonic 1, Lachlan and Boyboy 2, Noah Puntensen and Humphrey 3. Best trick — Sonic 1, Humphrey 2, Boyboy 3. Champion dog — Humphrey.

Lambs: leading — Charlotte Baker and Lolly 1. Appearance — Lolly 1.

General pets: Charlotte Baker and Blackneck the chicken, Kayleigh Turner and Milkshake the chicken, Torahvae Heron and puppy, Danielle Maria and Fluffy the rabbit, Tiarn and dog, Flynn Dangen and Patch the chicken, Lacey Dangen and Bright the chicken, Aurora Price and Diamond the cat, Alexander Price and Brave the cat, Lennox Chadwick and Goldie the goldfish, Elsa Cotter and Snowbell the rabbit.

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