With over 3000 animals and exhibitors on-site during the Show, all vying for a prestigious ribbon and recognition amongst their peers, competing at the New Zealand Agricultural Show is not for the faint-hearted. Some of the most determined competitors can be found amongst our youth entrants, those who give up weekends on the pitch or nights in front of Stranger Things to put in the months of preparation it takes to be in with a chance of a medal. No one is better versed in this commitment than Charlie Herbert, son of this year’s President of the Show, Chris. At 14 years old, Charlie has been attending the Show since he was born and competing in the Show’s formidable Cattle Section since he was just 5. We caught up with Charlie on what he loves about being a part of the Show community.
When do you start preparing to ensure you and your animals are Show ready?
Teaching the cattle to lead is the hardest part, so we start that in April! Every school holidays after that is spent working with them. We also have to keep an eye on dad and make sure he has our cattle in a good paddock so they are well fed and looking their best.
What do you look forward to most about coming to the Show each year?
Meeting loads of new people and spending time with others who share the same interests as me. The other breeders are always willing to help me out and provide advice – It’s the best place to learn from others and get better. The breakfast in the Members’ Marquee is also a highlight!
What’s the biggest challenge about competing at the Show?
Competition is so high every year and I am always competing against people with a lot more experience than me. But, this is the best way to improve, learn from others and come back better every year. It makes me determined.
What parts of the Show are your family involved in?
My whole family is involved in supporting the Cattle Section and we get together with other committee members at working bees before the Show. Mum helps get all the ribbons ready too. Dad is President for the Show this year which is pretty cool! But mum and dad help us with exhibiting every year, it’s fun all of us being involved together.
If you were going to give anything else at the Show a go, what would it be?
I’d like to be a steward to help the Show keep going. Or the Boar Breeders, they look like they have a lot of fun!
Good luck for this year Charlie! Entries for this year’s Show are open now, take a look at our Schedule of Classes and get your name down to join us this year.