By ROBYN BRISTOW
This year’s Cheviot A&P presidents are Pete and Philippa Somerville who have been farming and working together in the Cheviot district since 2000.
Pete was brought up in the Cheviot district and his father is a retired topdressing pilot, whose business Cheviot Ag Air is now run by an older brother.
Pete completed his carpentry apprenticeship soon after leaving school and headed overseas for nearly 10 years, before returning to Cheviot with his English bride and purchasing a small farm in the Domett area.
Originally farming fulltime, he was then lured back into building when the phone wouldn’t stop ringing asking for his services.
Pete now lives and breathes building with his team of four builders. He is an active member of the Certified Builders Association, Licenced Building Practitioner and an EQC Assessor.
He also stands on the Port Robinson Reserves board which services the Gore Bay area.
In his youth he was an active sportsman, a successful rugby player and is now enjoying watching his children coming through the sports clubs that Cheviot is so well endowed with.
Eldest child, 11-year-old Skye is in year 7 at Cheviot Area School and is a very competitive member of the Cheviot Swimming Club, netball club, tennis club and also a member of Amberley Pony Club.
She recently was part of a team who came third in the South Island Show Jumping Championships.
The youngest is Charlie, aged 8, who is also competing for Cheviot in swimming, cricket, rugby and a reluctant, but capable rider like his sister.
However his main passion is thrashing around the farm on his Suzuki motorbike.
Philippa says she holds the whole family team together running the building business from home and when time permits enjoys being part of the Cheviot sporting clubs too.
Also a keen rider, Philippa enjoys competing alongside her daughter and occasionally hunts with the Brackenfield Hunt.
Most of the time she spends in the office trying to “find where my husband is”. Often still out building until after dark Philippa says it is a miracle that he has found time to be part of the show committee.
The show is run by so many people it almost seems silly to have one or two people who wear the president’s name tag, says Philippa.
“The A&P Show is such an important part of our annual calendar here in Cheviot.
“We couldn’t imagine a year without the show. The children get involved in all areas and there is a real buzz of excitement in the air in the run up to the big day.
“As always we are looking for more people to come forward to help run the show because the background work that goes on throughout the year to keep the grounds in good condition and the buildings maintained is so important.”