Hunterville hosts hordes for Huntaway Festival

By staff reporter

The 14th annual Hunterville Huntaway Festival drew thousands of people to the small Rangitikei community on Saturday.

Hunterville was packed with Shepherds' Shemozzle competitors and spectators, as the tortuous obstacle-course race proceeded through the town's main street.

Hunterville Huntaway Festival committee member Andrew Stewart said race entries were up and the crowd had been larger than ever this year. The area had been overrun with motorhomes and caravans, he said.

Nearly 70 shepherds and huntaway dogs competed in the main event, while 150 youngsters entered the Children's Shemozzle and Inter-school Challenge, which used some of the main race's obstacles and even involved school pupils from Wellington.

Mr Stewart said Hunterville supported a large rural community and was a pro-active town with a great school.

The festival was a way of boosting the area's profile and economy, he said.

A Japanese film crew attended the event and captured the Shepherds' Shemozzle, which one of them participated in, for a television show that screens in Japan. Mr Stewart said that had added even more to the excitement.

He said the festival was a credit to committee chairman Greg Parkes and hordes of volunteers, who enabled the event to take place.<inline type="photogallery" id="15587" align="outside" embed="no" />

- Wanganui Chronicle

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