Christchurch put on its party dress today for its glamour spring festival, New Zealand Cup and Show Week.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said it was a big week ahead, with action at the races, fashion in the field and the Canterbury A&P Show celebrating its 150th anniversary.
"New Zealand Cup and Show Week will be a chance to enjoy all that the city has to offer and to come together as a community for a week of festivities," he said.
The festival kicked off today with the Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas Day at Riccarton Park. The event features New Zealand's best three-year-olds competing for stakes of $400,000 in the feature race as well as the Gold Club Metropolitan and Yesberg Insurance Services Pegasus Stakes.
New Zealand Trotting Cup Day at Addington Raceway on Tuesday is one of the most glamorous and highly anticipated social events on Canterbury's calendar and last year attracted a crowd of more than 20,000. The top harness horses in Australasia will compete in the feature race, the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup, the country's most prestigious two-mile harness race.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who arrive in New Zealand tonight for their Queen's jubilee celebration tour, will attend the A&P show on Friday and the week winds up next Saturday with the Christchurch Casino NZ Cup and New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas Day at Riccarton Park.