The popularity of possibly the smallest A and P show on the east coast from Gisborne to Wellington continues, with capacity entries across the horse and pony classes for the big event in Wairoa next week.
One of seven A and P shows in the region each year, the Wairoa A and P Show, now its 116th year, is essentially a three-day show starting on Thursday and finishing on Saturday.
But the interest in the equestrian events expands it to a five-day horsefest, with dressage events on Wednesday and Equestrian New Zealand's Northern Hawke's Bay Area Wairoa Jumping Show on the Sunday.
The show is also renowned for its unique cluster of world-class shearing, rodeo and sheep dog trials in one corner of the showgrounds between Ruataniwha and Railway Rds on the northwestern outskirts of the town.
Equestrian events secretary Merryn Maxwell said that entries had again had to be "closed-off", because there's no more room to accommodate the horses and no more time on the programme.
With both the showgrounds and the nearby Te Kupenga Racecourse in use for quartering the horses, and events programmed from almost daybreak to nightfall, Mrs Maxwell said: "We've only got room for 300 horses, and there're only so many hours in the day."
The big events on the equestrian programme are the grand prix events, headed by the horse jumping grand prix on the Saturday, for which the favourites will be the defending champion partnership of Gisborne rider Tess Clark and Sinatra, and strong show supporter Simon Wilson, who will have two entries in the Grand Prix, and two others also competing in the show.
Six riders have entered the horse jumping grand prix and 15 the pony grand prix.
The shearing competition is likely to feature the best from Hawke's Bay and the East Coast, who just happen to include three World Champions, among them reigning World Champion John Kirkpatrick and 2014's Rowland Smith, who won the Open title last year and soon afterwards, following a defeat at the Rotorua show, began a sequence of 23 consecutive wins in New Zealand, with possibly still more to come.
The shearing has a popular late Friday speedshear as an entree to the competition the next day, which also features the rodeo, increasing in popularity in the area with the national championships having also been held on the showgrounds last March.
The sheep dog trials will run a full two days, including over 100 dogs and trialists from Hawke's Bay and Poverty Bay, and the strong sheep theme of the show will be seen in the wool section. Convenor Scott Maultsaid expects 60-80 entries by the time judging starts next Friday.
Farm fencing is also on the show programme, along with junior stock judging, and the home industries classes.
The Poverty Bay, Hawke's Bay, and Wairarapa shows were held in October, and the Central Hawke's Bay Show in November.
The Dannevirke show will be on the first weekend of February, and the Masterton show later next month.