Golden Gumboot and kiss for lucky bachelor
There was a big game on for Jeff Peek's rugby team on Saturday morning, and he missed it.
But the Morrinsville lad had won Fieldays Rural Bachelor of the Year, so the crew at Waihou Rugby and Sports should let him off.
"The boys told me if I didn't win this there would have been a fair bit of s...," Peek said.
"But I think I can go back to the clubrooms and be a safe man now."
Peek and his seven competitors in the bachelor competition spent the week in KEA campervans and faced challenges including serving high tea, working gun dogs and speed dating.
The dairy farm manager, 30, came out on top and walked away with the prized Golden Gumboot trophy and a prize pack worth $23,000.
"Pumped. The heart's going at 100 miles an hour. It's awesome . . . it's been an amazing experience," he said.
But celebrations couldn't be too big on Saturday night because he had training yesterday morning.
And another high priority on his list was taking the Golden Gumboot to show his dad, Trevor.
The senior Peek - a keen rugby man and former dairy farmer - is unwell and lives in a Hamilton rest home.
But he was right behind his son when he heard about the bachelor competition entry.
"He had a bit of a chuckle, and he didn't quite understand what it was. But once I explained it he thought 'Yeah, nah. That sounds bloody good fun'," Peek said.
Proud mother Linda Peek was on hand for the big announcement and was struck with a sudden case of nerves - after she heard he'd won.
"I thought he had a good show. But he thought he had a good show too . . . I think he's really enjoyed it."
She hoped to see her eldest child find a lady friend as a result of the competition, but he was coy about date prospects.
"There's been a few phone numbers exchanged . . . we'll establish a few leads and follow them up after the fact. There's been no real time."
The week had been like a blur. Peek couldn't pick out a favourite challenge or memory.
"They were all bloody good fun, eh.
"As for a standout, I probably couldn't pick one right now. High tea, I suppose. Walking around in a little pinny and an apron. That was hard case."
He was planning to keep the Golden Gumboot in pride of place on his dresser in the lounge.
"I've got a little old model tractor that's there but it might just get shoved to the side."