Grey skies and morning rain did not deter patrons from flocking to the annual Taieri A&P Show on Saturday, where a good crowd enjoyed a busy day at the Taieri showgrounds.

Getting plenty of attention was the Otago Regional Excavator Competition, in which a handy field of local contractors attempted a range of tests including pouring a cup of tea, digging a hole of a certain dimension under an overhead wire, and slam-dunking a basketball.

Overcast skies did not deter show patrons. Photo / Gerard O'Brien
Overcast skies did not deter show patrons. Photo / Gerard O'Brien

Almost as popular was the nearby giant sand pit where junior drivers, well-practised at digging in playgrounds, were handing on tips to their elders.

More conventional horsepower was on show thanks to the Clydesdales from Erewhon Station, in Canterbury.

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Clydesdales from Erewhon station were stars of the grand parade on Saturday. Photo / Gerard O'Brien
Clydesdales from Erewhon station were stars of the grand parade on Saturday. Photo / Gerard O'Brien

Several of the giant horses were on display, and station owners Colin Drummond and Erin Cassie took advantage of a horse being bought from them by a local to bring their team to the show.

"We go out to five or six shows a year," Cassie said.

"It is an effort to get them all on the trucks and remember everything they need, but it's worth it."

The horses are actual working animals, a reminder of the days before machines took over.

Brin Millar (6), of Outram, beams atop pony Silverbank Melemisa, having won almost more prizes than they could both carry. Photo / Gerard O'Brien
Brin Millar (6), of Outram, beams atop pony Silverbank Melemisa, having won almost more prizes than they could both carry. Photo / Gerard O'Brien

"We are only playing with them compared to what happened in the old days, but we are lucky enough to be able to work our farms with them, in conjunction with tractors," Cassie said.

"We breed them, and hopefully we breed good strong horses who are still capable of work."

Jemma McKenzie (7), of Milton, enjoys chasing bubbles. Photo / Gerard O'Brien
Jemma McKenzie (7), of Milton, enjoys chasing bubbles. Photo / Gerard O'Brien

While the Clydesdales still had tasks to complete, agility dog Forrest had plainly had enough.

Owner Veronica MacLean tried to coax him through one more run on the obstacle course, but as Forrest just stood and looked at the bendy tunnel it was plain the 2-year-old heading dog/collie cross was puffed out.

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"He's been going since early this morning, he just wants to curl up and sleep now," MacLean said.

For at least one participant, that was the Taieri A&P Show done and dusted for another year.