Women make clean sweep of all three Fieldays awards
HER friends said she should either enter Married at First Sight or Fieldays Rural Catch – Mairi Whittle chose the latter, and she won it.
Whittle, a former rural bank manager who now works as a shepherd on a 1100-hectare beef and sheep farm east of Taihape, hoisted the Golden Gumboot trophy at Fieldays at Mystery Creek yesterday.
This was the first year that women were included in the competition formerly known as Rural Bachelor of the Year – and they took out all the prizes.
It was amazing, according to Whittle, a former rural bank manager who now works as a shepherd on a 1100-hectare beef and sheep farm east of Taihape.
Meeting the ‘‘bunch of absolute champions’’ – her eight fellow competitors who underwent the gruelling week of competitions involving quad bikes, chainsaws, artificial insemination, finances, and cooking – was a highlight, she said.
The People’s Choice award went to hunter, horse woman and trainee pilot Lilly Newton of Urenui, Taranaki, who said she probably hadn’t been ‘‘caught’’ by Taranaki blokes yet because she had very high specifications.
Palmerston North’s Renae Flett rounded out the all-female sweep with the Farmlands Choice Award.
Taihape’s Mairi Whittle won Fieldays Rural Catch – formerly known as the Rural Bachelor of the Year.