NZ Herald Local Focus logo

Watch NZH Local Focus: Shepherds, Shemozzles and Stubbies

By Sieska Verdonk

The Hunterville Huntaway festival has become a fixture on the local calendar, and this was its biggest year to date with two and a half thousand people crowding the main street.

Sam Horrocks, Vice Chairman of the Shemozzle Committee, said "The Hunterville Huntaway festival started 19 years ago with four guys in a pub who decided that the village fair was going down the gurgler. So they thought we need something different, they thought the huntaways are the backbone of this rural community, without huntaways most of the people here would be unemployed. So they thought let's base it around that, stole a few ideas from events around the country and ended up with the Shepherd's Shemozzle."

In the main race of the day, 100 shepherds and their dogs compete for a grand prize of a thousand dollars, and the coveted trophy.

However, race numbers had to be capped this year, apparently because the organisers ran out of woven sacks. There was also confusion over how long the course is, some say it's three kilometers, but it's definitely tough going up the notorious Steep Hill.

Then back to town and through water obstacles.

But there's worse to come. Challenges include picking up bulls' testicles in their mouth, eating worm sandwiches, and the hardest of the lot, convincing dogs to ride in a wheelbarrow.

In the final dash, some contestants just pick up their dogs and run, and this year it was very close with the winner taking it out by a backside.

Nick Tipling from New Plymouth with his huntaway Nugget, was the lucky winner of a thousand bucks and the title of top shemozzler.

Overall it was a good day for shepherds, sacks and stubbies.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 26 May 2017 12:31:40 Processing Time: 288ms