By Heather Killen
If the groundwork pays off, the 86th Annapolis Valley Exhibition, running August 13 through 18 should be the best Ex yet.
The organizing committee has been busy making upgrades to the facilities this year and is hopeful this will set the pace for another great year.
Rachel Taylor, exhibition manager, says that the stalls in the new 120-foot horse barn were mostly reserved by the time the last nail had been driven. People have been requesting “new barn” on the registration forms that have been coming in.
This new light horse barn features 57 box stalls and improved ventilation. And the minis will be able run circles around themselves, thanks to the improved tile and drainage in the main ring.
“No more puddle-jumping for the mini-horses,” she said. “That was an important upgrade because they need good footing.”
Taylor says she’s pleased to see the final installation of the new bleachers. This upgrade has been taking place over the last five years and while the new seating will last a long time, it’s been an expensive upgrade.
New events this year include the Prince Philip Games on Monday, head-to-head pole bending, lawn tractor races, and arm wrestling.
The Prince Phillip Games on Monday is a horseback competition that resembles polo, or jousting, and requires speed, agility, eye-hand coordination, and teamwork.
“It’s a fast relay around obstacles and very challenging,” according to Taylor. Alissa Cue, of Rohan Wood Stables, in Aylesford is organizing this event. Other new activities this year include a teddy bear picnic, organized by Family Matters and Zumba.
Shawn Ross, world-class arm wrestling champion, is bringing the event to the exhibition this year on Saturday. Lawn tractor races are set to take place both Friday and Saturday evenings.
Maritime favorite singer/songwriter and ECMA winner Charlie A’Court takes the stage on Thursday night. To end the week 1980s pop band Honeymoon Suite headlines on Friday, while country music performer Aaron Lines performs on Saturday.
Favorite, not-so-new events returning this year include the Man vs. Beast pulling competition, and the Ag-Chore Cup Challenge this year featuring the talents of MLAs Stephen McNeil and Leo Glavine.
Rodeo Night is also back with the ever popular Wild ‘n Woolie Sheep Rodeo, happening at various times, steer riding, and a working cow horse competition. For more information on the 86 Annapolis Valley Exhibition, visit www.annapolisvalleyexhibition.com