Pig racing to be star attraction at Kaikohe A&P Show

Pig racing is expected to be one of the highlights of Saturday's Kaikohe A&P Show in Northland.

This is only the second year that the pig races have been held.
Photo: Kaikohe A&P Show / Supplied

Pig racing is expected to be one of the highlights of the Kaikohe A&P Show in the Far North on Saturday.

Association president Richard Dampney said the show would feature seven rings of horses, shearing competitions, the Northland Gumboot Throwing Championships, a petting zoo, food and trade stalls, and “heaps” of activities for children.

However, the pig races, being held for just the second year, would likely be the star attraction, he said.

“I’ve got a little team of eight piggies that we’re training up. They’ll have three races over the day, with the third one, at 2 o’clock, the politicians’ race. Everyone likes to bet on their favourite politician, no doubt.”

Dampney said each pig would be named after a politician, some of whom – such as Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, whose brother Jim Peters was one of the show organisers – had close ties to the area.

“The Jones Boy is another one. Shane is actually opening the show for us this year. Shane Reti is a pig that’s ready to run, and Willow Jean Prime, she was prime last year, she’ll still be prime this year. There’s a few others, like David – he sees more – and a new piggy this year, Christopher Luxon. He’s the one that hasn’t got any hair.”

Dampney said entry to the showgrounds, and all bouncy castles and other children’s activities, would be free for kids aged 14 and under.

“Kaikohe isn’t a wealthy town. We’ve just gone through Christmas and New Year, there’s not a lot of money left around. It actually costs us to put the show on, but we do it this way to try and give the local kids a good day out where it doesn’t cost the families an awful lot of money.”

Kids’ competitions would include three-legged races, tug of war, egg-and-spoon races, and haybale stacking.

Another attraction unique to the Kaikohe show was free bus tours put on by power company Top Energy to the nearby Ngāwhā geothermal power station.

The plant now provided the bulk of Northland’s electricity.

Dampney said cattle numbers at the show continued to be well down due to Mycoplasma bovis and, with State Highway 1 still closed at Mangamuka Gorge, the added difficulty of bringing animals to the show from further north.

However, he expected a good turnout of dairy goats this year.

The showgrounds are at the corner of State Highway 12 and Ngāwhā Springs Road, about 4km east of Kaikohe. Free parking is available on Ngāwhā Springs Road.

The gates open early for competitors with the horse events starting between 8 and 9am. Most other activities will get underway around 10am.

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