Tens of thousands attend New Zealand’s premier celebration of rural sports

Tens of thousands attend New Zealand’s premier celebration of rural sports

23 April 2019

Thousands attended the fifth annual Hilux New Zealand Rural Games held in Palmerston North.

The free two-day event, held every March, hosts national and trans-Tasman championships for traditional sports like wood chopping, speed shearing and speed fencing alongside fun participation contests like Russian egg roulette, gumboot throwing and cowpat tossing.

Thousands of people came through the Fonterra activations – and the Fonterra supported Have a Go activities across the two days.

Rural Games Founder Steve Hollander said it was great to see the smiles on the faces of young and old alike as they gave it a go.

‘More than 400 children learned to climb a tree, they drove diggers, rode sulkies and had a great time in the hungerball inflatable stadium.”

Mr Holander said the speed milking event saw hundreds of children and adults compete to get the most milk out of two friendly fibreglass cows – in under 20 seconds.

The 360 Workwear Bill Tapley Memorial Cowpat Throw was a fiercely competitive event that was won by New Zealand’s favourite dad How to Dad aka Jordan Watson with a 35-metre throw. In second place was Rob Edwards from Whanganui and baseball star Riki Paewai came in third.

This year, Future Post supported the New Zealand Speed Fencing Championships – that’s where New Zealand’s top fencers work against the clock and each other, to use borers, put in a strainer, ram and chamfer the top strainer, run wires, insulate and put in posts.

The 2019 event was won by the legendary Tony Bouskill from Hawke’s Bay who was closely followed by his father Shane in second place.

2019 was the first year Future Post’s revolutionary plastic posts were included in the competition and is a sign of the future.

The posts are made from recycled soft plastics and plastic milk bottles.

They can be treated just like wooden posts and are just as strong but are more flexible. Subject to the conditions of use, the serviceable life is expected to be at least 50 years.

The posts are available from selected North Island Farm Source stores.

Whanganui cowboy wins big

A Whanganui teen who started cowboy shooting at 12 years old, and has been New Zealand junior champion in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, is now the Fonterra Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year.

McDowell was awarded the honour at the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards during a gala dinner evening at Awapuni in Palmerston North on the eve of the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games.

Bradley is currently New Zealand North Island overall men’s champion, New Zealand overall men’s champion, Wyoming State junior champion, 2018 World junior champion, 2018 World’s fastest junior cowboy title, and is currently ranked seventh in the World overall men’s Championships.

Bradley achieved his World title at the age of 16 and is youngest New Zealand shooter to do so. Bradley’s goal is to become the world’s number one shooter and to get more young people introduced to the sport in New Zealand.

The award was presented by Olympic and Commonwealth Games triathlete Tony Dodds. The two other nominees were Briar Burnett-Grant – equestrian from Taupo and Sheree Tomlinson – harness racing from Canterbury.

Farm Source Regional Sales Manager Anthony Spence with Bradley McDowell and Tony Dodds

Article supplied by Hilux New Zealand Rural Games