Canterbury’s favourite community event – New Zealand Cup and Show Week – is being held in Christchurch this week from November 11 to 18, with three days of Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association Show (the A and P Show, November 15-17) thrown in between.

Show Day is on Friday, November 17, which is also a public holiday in Canterbury, celebrating the region’s official anniversary. The public holiday was originally held on or around December 15, the anniversary day of the old Canterbury province marking the arrival of the First Four Ships. It was moved to the Friday of Show Week sometime between 1955 and 1958. This year, the organisers are anticipating strong attendance breaking all previous records, with the weather forecast looking very promising.

Cup Week

Every year during the middle of November, Canterbury celebrates the province’s anniversary holiday with New Zealand Cup and Show Week. First on the schedule is Cup Week, with horse racing, both gallops and harness racing, being the main events. There are local fashion shows and displays, with shops selling race-going fashion and hats. 

This year, the Cups raced for are the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup races at Addington Raceway held on Tuesday, November 14, with the horse Lazarus, driven by Mr Mark Purdon winning back-to-back New Zealand Cup titles. Next up will be the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup and 1000 Guineas Day at the Riccarton Park Raceway on Saturday, November 18.

The A and P Show

After Cup Week, the country comes to town at the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association Show. The annual agricultural show has been held every year since 1862, and is a three-day-event, featuring 500 trade exhibitors showcasing their services, animals and products to an estimated 100,000 visitors. It also sees livestock and equestrian madness, with 3,000 animals competing in over 1,700 classes for the best of the best titles and over $100,000 in prize money. Along with the finale of Ballantynes Grand Parade, the show also features watchdog trials, wood chopping competition, wool auction, shearing contests and cooking demonstrations. (IWK will have a detailed report on the A and P Show in our next issue)