The small rural village of Āpiti in northern Manawatū is gearing up for one of its biggest annual events, the Āpiti and Districts Show this Saturday.

In what is usually a grazed paddock, the Āpiti Domain will be buzzing as hundreds of people turn out to watch some of New Zealand and the world's best shearers and wool handlers compete in the day-long competition.

The event is described as a warm-up to the country's pinnacle shearing event, the Golden Shears in Masterton next month.

The show, now in its 78th year, also boasts equestrian sports that have grown year-on-year and are now a qualifier for Horse of the Year.

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Family-friendly activities include a terrier race, hobby horse race for the kids and local artists host an exhibition too.

Āpiti local Russel Knight has been involved in the event's organisation for 25 years and says the show and shearing is dear to his heart.

"It's tremendous rural entertainment.

"The day is about showcasing grassroots workers on the farm in New Zealand who do this day in and day out.

"The industry has been around for a long time and the competitive shearing industry is like one big family."

He says the event would not be possible without the commitment from locals who make it happen each year.

"People call me the figure head and say if I retire the event might die, but it's the committee behind the scenes who make it happen.

"We want to see it keep going here because if the event stops it could be gone forever."

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The Āpiti show is held at 601 Oroua Valley Rd and the first shearing event begins at 8am.