Where are the southern rural men?

BRITTANY PICKETT
Last updated 05:00 29/05/2014
jeff peek
SUPPLIED/ Fieldays
NO SHOW: Waikato's Jeff Peek is a finalist in Fielday's 2014 Rural Bachelor of the Year - but has Southland run out of eligible contestants?

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It seems all of the rural bachelors have been snapped up in Southland.

This year's Fieldays Rural Bachelor of the Year will have no Southland lads vying for the title, which poses the question: "Where have all the eligible rural Southlanders gone?"

Fieldays communications executive Vicki Annison thought the competition might have lost its Southlanders to the lovely southern ladies.

"We didn't have any nice rural guys [Southlanders] applying for a place ... they're already taken," she said.

The competition would have loved more applications from down south, she said. "Why aren't they coming? We're paying for them to come."

This year the only South Islander competing for the golden gumboot is 29-year-old Thomas Denham, of Harihari, against five Northerners and an Australian.

Finalists will compete in heats, held during four days, which test their agricultural skills, No 8 wire innovative attitude and charisma.

Next year there might be a chance for the rural women to have a go at taking home the gumboot with discussions around a Rural Bachelorette of the Year competition.

"A serious conversation is going on about that for next year - watch this space," Annison said.

The winner of Rural Bachelor of the Year takes home a prize package valued at $23,000, as well as the coveted Golden Gumboot Award, while the runner-up takes home a $2000 prize package.

NZ National Fieldays is held at the Mystery Creek Events Centre from June 11 to 14.

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- The Southland Times

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