Southdown Sheep Society, NZ

"The sheep with an illustrious past and a very bright future"

Calder has many memories of Southland A&P Shows

Posted by Christina On March - 1 - 2018

Past presidents Noel Hamilton and Graham Calder are in a team setting up for the Southland A&P Association’s 150th Show at Donovan Park

A sheep stud breeder says one of the best things about A & P Shows is the camaraderie.

And, Graham Calder likes a bit of a challenge.

Like the time it took him 40 years to win a superior sheep title cup.

Calder who owns Southdown and South Suffolk Stud at Kennington has been entering stock at the Southland A & P Association show for at least 45 years.

“It’s a good opportunity to compare your sheep with other breeds and to see how your breed is going,” Calder said.

“There’s good camaraderie with the other breeders [at the shows].”

Calder had a memorable 2017 Southland show when winning the Meat and Wool Cup for the superior sheep title.

“It took me 40 odd years to win it.” 

Calder, who is also a show past president, will work alongside another past president Noel Hamilton as sheep marshalls at the association’s 150th show in Invercargill on Saturday.

One of the highlights for Hamilton during his time as president was the staging of a Royal Show in 1994. The association had to pay $5000 to the New Zealand Royal Agricultural Society for hosting rights.

Specially-made ribbons to mark a Royal Show were needed and accommodation for overseas judges required.

“There was a lot of extra cost to hold it … sponsorship [money] covered a lot of it,” Calder said.

Calder can remember leading his neighbour’s milk shorthorn heifer in the grand parade at the 100th Southland show at the Invercargill Showgrounds.

Saturday will be the sixth year the show has been held at Donovan Park after it was at the Invercargill racecourse for three years. Before that, the showgrounds was the longstanding venue.

Hamilton said Donovan Park was a “really nice setting” for the show.

The oldest piece of machinery owned by the association is a 1960s Massey Ferguson 135 tractor which is used for mowing.

The pets’ area at the show was always popular with children, Hamilton said.


Offenders doing community service are helping volunteers to set up for Saturday’s show.

“There’s a lot of manual labour needed and without their help, we’d struggle [to get everything done in time],” Hamilton said.

Community service workers had worked for the association for many decades, he added.