Woolly run se­cured for Feild­ing un­til 2020

Manawatu Standard - - News - SAM KILMISTER

See­ing 1000 sheep mak­ing a 500-me­tre dash through the main street of Feild­ing will be a fa­mil­iar sight for three more years.

The Run­ning of the Wools made its Feild­ing de­but this year when The Hilux Ru­ral Games shifted to Manawatu¯ for the first time in the event’s his­tory.

A flock of sheep from Po­taka Sta­tion are set to re­turn to Manch­ester Square for the an­nual event on March 9 af­ter Prop­erty Bro­kers won nam­ing rights on Mon­day.

The sheep are herded through the streets fol­low­ing a man and mutt race, and a wool bal­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

Manawatu¯ mayor He­len Wor­boys said the event cel­e­brated New Zealand’s rich ru­ral his­tory – of­fer­ing ur­ban res­i­dents and tourists a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence ru­ral life up-close and per­sonal.

‘‘It’s an­other cel­e­bra­tion of who we are, a ru­ral hub for the wider Cen­tral North Is­land,’’ she said.

‘‘We’re home to the largest sale yards in the South­ern Hemi­sphere right in the heart of our town, many suc­cess­ful and pro­gres­sive agri­cul­ture based busi­nesses, the award-win­ning Feild­ing Farm­ers Mar­ket, which will be run­ning on the day of the event, and the birth­place of the ru­ral car­toon­ist, the late Mur­ray Ball.’’

Hilux New Zealand Ru­ral Games founder and trustee Steve Hol­lan­der said the event had ex­panded to in­clude the Transtas­man Fit4­farm­ing cy­cling race that would at­tract about 60 com­peti­tors.

The first Run­ning of the Wools held in Feild­ing, in March this year.

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