By AMANDA BOWES
This year’s Hawarden Show presidents, Ian and Carol Ford, are no strangers to the A&P show scene.
The couple have shown their Hereford cattle and Borderdale sheep at many shows throughout Canterbury over the years.
Their first show was at Hawarden, where they exhibited their cattle in 1967.
Ian and Carol have farmed 242 hectares not far from Hawarden since 2005. They run cattle and sheep, and crop the flat land.
They have been long-time breeders of Hereford cattle, starting a stud in 1966.
Last year, after 51 years of running the stud, they handed over the reins to their daughter and son-in-law.
The herd has remained at about 100 cows and heifers.
Each year, about 40 bulls are sold, with three being sold at the Beef Expo over the past five years.
In 1973, Ian joined the Northern A&P Association committee and worked in the cattle section, as well as exhibiting cattle.
Carol became a member of the Ladies’s Committee and entered baking as well as stewarding in the knitting and hand-spun classes.
In 1985, Ian was president of the show.
He began his farming career when leaving school. He came home to farm his family’s 339-hectare property at Sefton with his father.
After Ian and Carol married, they added some more land, bringing it to 450 hectares.
Thirteen years ago, they decided it was time to leave the hills of Sefton and farm on the flat, prompting the shift to Hawarden.
Their three adult children were involved with A&P shows too, taking lambs and calves to Rangiora when they were young.
Son Alistair exhibited vintage machinery which he restored from the farm, and daughters Helen and Colleen competed in the pony sections.
Ian and Carol acknowledge the many sponsors supporting the Hawarden show this year and also the judges, marshals, stewards, competitors, trade people, volunteers and committee members who work hard to bring the show alive.
“It is very satisfying to see people enjoying themselves on Show Day and we hope those attending the show stay for the community barbecue and enjoy the entertainment from local talent at the end of the day.”