Join the Party for Christchurch Cup and Show Week
A week of horse racing, a holiday, and all the fun of the fair!
From November 5th to the 12th, Christchurch buzzes with New Zealand's largest and most exciting spring festival of racing, fashion, agriculture and entertainment. Over 190,000 people attend the events; horse racing, fashion, glamour, and one of New Zealand's unique 'A &P' shows are all on offer.
There are two types of horse races over the week, and even greyhound racing. The pinnacle is on the second Tuesday of November, this year that's the 8th, for the Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day. The trotting cup is a harness horse race. In this, the horses aren't ridden, but pull a small, light cart called a sulky, with a driver to guide them. The horses are a specific breed, standardbreds who have developed over generations, to use the different gait of trotting to achieve high speeds.
The Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day is held at Addington raceway, and it is a day of glamour. As well as general areas, you can pay $70 for admission to the more exclusive 'Lindauer Lawn'. This is an enclosed area close to the track and stable roof. Well-known local band Salmonella Dub will be entertaining patrons on the lawn. Fashion is closely associated with horse racing, and on NZ Trotting Cup Day there is a chance for fashionistas to go all out, with competitions for the best body art, and best dressed man and lady.
Children don't need to miss out on the excitement of the races. Friday the 11th of November is a public holiday, both 'Show Day' and the Canterbury region's official anniversary. There is a 'Show Day' race meeting at Addington which is full of children's entertainment. Admission is just $10, and children aged 14 and under are free, but must be accompanied by an adult.
Cup week also includes galloping horse races; these are held at Riccarton Race Course. Cup and Show week starts on November 5th with the Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas Day, and finishes with the Christchurch Casino NZ Cup and gavelhouse.com 1000 Guineas Day.
The second part of 'Cup and Show Week', is, of course the show! The Christchurch A&P (Agricultural and Pastoral) Show has been running since 1863. It runs for three days, from Wednesday November 9 – Friday 11, and is attended by around 100,000 visitors, making it New Zealand's largest community event. It is held at the ASB Agricultural Park, between the suburbs of Wigram and Hillmorton, south of the city. Good news, parking for the rental car at the A&P show is free!
At the show, the kids can visit the Mike Greer Homes City Farmyard. It's a chance to cuddle up to lambs, calves, puppies, ducklings and other farm animals. Adults will get more out of the food and wine village. There are livestock and equestrian competitions to watch. Live entertainment is a big part of the show. This might be with a rural flavour, such as wood-chopping or sheep-shearing competitions, or more cosmopolitan with carnival rides. Some of New Zealand's top musicians have formed to make a super-group for the show, called 'The Yeah Nah Nahs'.
Whatever you like to do, the Christchurch Cup and Show Week will have something to keep you entertained. It is a chance to experience a slice of real New Zealand life!