Show a highlight for the Cheviot district

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Philippa and Pete Somerville . . . The couple say the show is a major event for Cheviot. PHOTO: SUPPLIED 

Pete and Philippa Somerville are determined to keep the energy and passion flowing for the local  Cheviot A&P Show.

The couple, in their second year as presidents, are looking forward to the annual event after another challenging year for local businesses due to ongoing works on State Highway 1 and the recent closure due to former Cyclone Gita.

The pair hope to see many new faces join the committee in the coming year to ensure it continues to provide a venue to celebrate the region’s agricultural sector and provide a showcase for the district’s arts, crafts, produce and wares.

“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,” they say.

Pete and Philippa have farmed and worked together in the Cheviot district since 2000.

Pete was brought up in the district and completed his carpentry apprenticeship soon after leaving school. He then headed overseas for nearly 10 years.

He returned to Cheviot with his English bride and bought a small farm in the Domett area.

Originally farming fulltime, he was lured back into building when the phone wouldn’t stop ringing asking for his services.

Pete now has a team of four builders, is an active member of the Certified Builders Association, is a licensed building practitioner and an EQC assessor.

He also sits 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 Cheviot’s sports clubs.

The couple’s two children, Skye and Charlie, have both started at boarding school in Christchurch this year. Skye is at Rangi Ruru as a Year 8 student while Charlie is in Year 5 at Medbury.

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.

Philippa, a keen horse rider, enjoys competing alongside her daughter and occasionally turns out with the Brackenfield Hunt.

Immediately after the show, she and Skye are headed north to the Horse of the Year Show, where Skye will be competing in showjumping and the working hunter section on her pony Mickey. She is also a reserve for the Canterbury Area Pony Club’s showjumping team.

Charlie, meanwhile, enjoys swimming, cricket, rugby and is a reluctant, but capable rider.

His main passion is riding around the farm on his Suzuki motorbike.

Philippa says it is Lorraine Hansen’s final year as secretary. She hopes another community member will step up to take on this important role.

Meanwhile, they are both grateful for the support of community members and groups in helping prepare for the show.