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Online News + Video | Oxford A & P Show 2023

Hayley Linton
Friendly Alpacas
Friendly Alpacas - Oxford A&P Show  Hayley Linton

This year Oxford celebrated their 118th Annual A&P Show - a small rural town supporting the farming community of North Canterbury.

Thousands of people gathered over the weekend to enjoy a day of animal displays, competitions, sheep shearing and dog agility demonstrations and...of course...the hot chips and candy floss. 

Originally these shows were predominantly just farmers displaying their animals and crops to show excellence and promote good breeding. However, over time the popularity of shows led to the addition of more contests, attractions, and family entertainment.

The show is a country exhibition which is dedicated to celebrating, promoting, and developing New Zealand's excellence in farming and agriculture. About 90 shows take place annually throughout the country, and in many towns, they are the main yearly event.

Show grounds
Hayley Linton

This year's event showcased various cattle, sheep, goats, alpacas and horses. There were homemade jams and chutneys, wood-chopping competitions, dog trials and lots of farmers wearing their day-to-day outfit of a swannie and gumboots.

The Oxford A&P Association's main goals are to promote agricultural and pastoral excellence in all areas and to bring town and country together to experience rural hospitality.

President Steve Macauley says days like these give urban people the opportunity to see what happens in the rural landscape.

“The essence of an A&P Show is getting out and showing what agriculture and farming is all about”

He believes that over the years, the show has had a change in diversity of animals. Donkeys and alpacas have been added giving people something to look at other than sheep, cattle and horses.

Macauley believes now more than ever is the time to bridge the gap between rural and urban and says events like this are really special and important for the way forward.


Moo's waiting patiently
Hayley Linton

Executive Officer Christine Roberts has had all hands on deck for organising an event of this size. There is a huge amount of preparation and behind the scenes work that goes on, which is all voluntary.

She said gate sales have gone up since the Christchurch earthquakes, as the show allows Cantabrians to escape the city for a day for some family entertainment.

“An event like this allows community to come together to showcase rural excellence”

Roberts believes the whole show is a highlight, but the supreme animals and the grand parade are a must watch. 

She feels A&P shows are important as they allow kids to see and interact with different types of animals. She believes they should know where their milk comes from and understand how things work in the rural industry.

Hayley Linton