All things rural on show at Agricultural Show in Christchurch

6:46 pm on 13 November 2019

One of New Zealand's largest A&P shows, now known as the New Zealand Agricultural Show, got underway today in Christchurch.

Swiss Valais Blacknose

A Swiss Valais Blacknose, one of 3000 animals are at the A&P show grounds in Sockburn. Photo: RNZ / Katie Todd

Hundreds of people and exhibitors and more than 3000 animals are at the A&P show grounds in Sockburn.

On average more than 100,000 people will walk through the gates over the next three days.

The iconic event puts 750 exhibitors on a stage of 42 hectares, into the spotlight to show off agriculture and farming's finest.

Expect to see more than 3000 animals on site, 2000 individual competitions, 550 volunteers, live music, top livestock and equestrian events, Endurocross, a Food & Wine Village.

A&P show director Geoff Bone said it was where city dwellers and rural communities collided.

"It's a wonderful way to bring urban and rural communities together," he said. "They can look at the animals, they can engage with them and learn from each other," especially as both are looking at ways to make the country greener."

New features this year included a rural mental health seminar, a bbq competition and zirka circus.

New Zealand Army Band

Photo: RNZ / Katie Todd

These were accompanied by original acts like Shad Rutherford, a popular clown who'd been attending the event since day one.

"I came to the first show here in 1993 and I have ben every single year as an entertainer," Mr Rutherford said.

Valias Blacknose New Zealand's Sally Strathdee is responsible for breeding the world's cutest sheep, which debuted last year and became an internet sensation.

"We're expecting far more interest this time from a commercial point of view plus the general public have become aware of them and just think they're the cutest. They say if you have a Valias as a friend you have a friend for life," Ms Strathdee said.

Show day organisers said the event would bring in more than $16 million, which finishes on Friday.