Held each November during the crisp months of spring, the New Zealand Cup and Show Week in Christchurch is a formal fusion of horse-racing, fashion, agriculture and music. Held at the Riccarton Park Racecourse and Addington Raceway, crowds of over 20,000 people gather to experience the excitement of harness racing, horse racing, and to partake in all the wine tasting, toe-tapping, and sheep-shearing festivities.
In an area once down on its luck after devastating earthquakes, the New Zealand Cup and Show Week is an uplifting event which celebrates the spirit of Canterbury and ushers in the arrival of the upcoming summer. Best not to forget the fashion portion of the week as well, as sub-categories of the festivities allow both women and men to don their classiest wares in a competition where clean-cut styles and outrageous fascinators all come together in a see-and-be-seen pursuit of fashion.
More than simply races and socializing, however, there is also the Canterbury A&P Show at the Canterbury Agricultural Park. Running for over 150 years, the show features some of the top entries of local livestock as well as competitions celebrating the skills of the rural Canterbury lifestyle. In the perfect blend of British heritage with rural Kiwi roots, wood chopping competitions are part of the same festival as fashion contests, and the entire week is a celebration of the classy, horse-racing lifestyle served with a dose of down-home agricultural charm.
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