The terrier race is always a highlight of the Wanaka A&P show and this year's event was no exception, with a record entries of 68.

Race convener Richard Burdon said having a Jack Russell was part of rural life - they were great companions and great rabbiters - as he quipped there was a chance to pick one up in the melee of the aftermath of the race.

This year's race was won by local terrier Stella (9), who has been in the race eight times and has had a podium finish six times.

Terrier race winner Stella streaks to the lead moments after the race started. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery
Terrier race winner Stella streaks to the lead moments after the race started. Photo / Stephen Jaquiery

Owned by Kristin Renda and family, Stella was very fit and got very excited when told it was race day, Renda said.

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This year the Wanaka A&P Show attracted at least 40,000 people and while official numbers were still to be confirmed, the crowd was consistent with previous years, show organisers said.

Wanaka A&P Show event manager Jane Stalker said a combination of factors attracted the huge crowd to the event.

"The Wanaka A&P Show is now the largest two-day show in the South Island and many people make it a fixture on their events calendar, whether they come for the agriculture or the entertainment.

"We're very lucky as the show is always held the second weekend of March when the weather is generally great, people are ready to relax, farmers are less busy than at other times of the year and the timely rain meant they actually spent a bit more money, too," she said.