lvn220120bentall: Levin AP&I Show president Hugh Bentall.
lvn220120show: Levin shearer Jaycob Brunton in action at the Levin AP&I Show at the weekend.
lvn220120beatson1: Maurice Beatson and Sally Clark brought a team of horses with them.
lvn220120showj: Levin axeman Hayden Ogden.
lvn220120showl: Barry Mansell.
lvn220120showk: Danny O'Neill and son Oliver have a go on the cars at the Levin AP&I Show.


Town met country again for the 114th time at the annual Levin AP&I Show at the weekend, the sound of guitars and violins competing with the screams of thrill-seekers.

The smell of candy floss wafted around the amusement side of the show, while the hearty scent of rural Horowhenua stirred the soul where all the animals were stabled.

Thousands flocked to the historic show this year, long regarded as one of the best in the circuit, where farmers had a chance to showcase their animals and "townies" had rare a chance to see them.

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Levin AP&I Show president Hugh Bentall.
Levin AP&I Show president Hugh Bentall.

The traditional showjumping, woodchopping and dog trials, sheep, beef, dog, birds, pigs, goats, donkeys and alpacas were on display competing for prizes, and fairground rides and attractions like the ferris wheel, hurricane and ghost train.

The trade section was again well-attended, with more than 50 exhibitors, while the vintage machinery display is always a hit. The annual show parade on the Saturday afternoon had old trucks and tractors doing a circuit of the oval following the animals.

Levin AP&I Show president Hugh Bentall said there was an incredible amount of work and organising that went on behind the scenes to make the show a success and a large amount of that was through sheer hard work from volunteers.

Bentall said it was incredible how the community got in behind the show to make it a success, from farmers and animal owners and competitors, to people exhibiting their wares and skills.

"Take a look at these shearing fellows. They have such passion and pride in their work and the show gives them a chance to show what they do," he said, as the shearing competition was in full swing.

Levin shearer Jaycob brunton in action at the Levin AP&I Show at the weekend.
Levin shearer Jaycob brunton in action at the Levin AP&I Show at the weekend.

"A number of businesses have staff here too, on what is a holiday weekend."

The Levin AP&I relied on community spirit and worked hard to secure funding from the likes of Eastern and Central Community Trust, for which it was grateful, he said.

While the show was over in a weekend, he said it was months in the planning and credited an experienced committee and show secretary Jo Roberts for their hard work.

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Danny O'Neill and son Oliver have a go on the cars at the Levin AP&I Show.
Danny O'Neill and son Oliver have a go on the cars at the Levin AP&I Show.

People came from Wellington, Taranaki and Wairarapa to either compete or take in the unique atmosphere of the show, he said.

Horowhenua Mayor Bernie Wanden officially declared the show open and highlighted the importance of the show to a community that had always had a unique rural and urban blend.

Famous equestrian rider Maurice Beatson, 67, had been coming to the Levin show every year since he was a teenager in the 1970s, as had his partner Sally Clark.

Maurice Beatson.
Maurice Beatson.

"It was always my favourite show," he said.

To have a rider of the standard of Beatson coming back each year from Dannevirke spoke volumes for the Levin show and this year the tireless veteran brought three horses with him.

The unstoppable Beatson had competed in more than 200 Grand Prix events, but had to be content with a fifth placing behind winner Nokeysho Lomers on Resolution.

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Barry Mansell.
Barry Mansell.

Longtime show supporter Barry Mansell, who was celebrating his 83rd birthday, had volunteered for the last 60 years at the show and his birthday always fell on show weekend.