Animals, celebrities and crowds flood Feilding for annual Rural Day
Rural madness unfolded in Feilding as country classics like Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire and Old Crow Medicine's Wagon Wheel echoed around the town, as a celebrity walked in their midst.
Animals, celebrities and crowds flooded Manchester Square on Friday as thousands turned out to the Manawatū town's annual wild west-themed Rural Day.
The highlight was Feilding internet sensation William "Waiirua" Cribb and Game of Thrones star Joe Naufahu going head to head in a pancake flipping competition.
Cribb's culinary skills were, perhaps, superior to Naufahu's, who managed to lose a pancake on the roof.
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Cribb, however, successfully landed the complex manoeuvre of throwing a pancake over his head before regathering it behind his back.
The secret? "It's all in the wrists," Cribb said. "But you've got be careful you don't get [repetitive strain injury] though.
"It's awesome to be back home in Feilding. I've been around the last few weeks, but it's good to be back paying homage."
It was Naufahu's second visit to Feilding after competing in an athletics tournament several years ago. He was forced to trade dragons for sheep during his latest visit.
The New Zealand actor played Khal Moro, leader of the Dothraki warriors, in Game of Thrones, the popular HBO television series.
"I've been up on my mate's farm in Tauranga all week with my two children so it's been a very agricultural week for me.
"This is good from Feilding. It's awesome to see."
Organiser Raewyn Loader said Rural Day always coincided with the second week of the school holidays.
"We have lots of people coming, bringing their children, and its spring so there are lots of young animals."
Many wore hats and boots to live up to the wild west theme. But there were no gunfights and only a handful of horses.
Despite the chilling wind, people lined for ice-creams. But it was the sheep racing that really drew the crowd.
The Grand National Sheeplechase saw seven highly-trained sheep carrying toy monkeys – as jockeys – to the finish line for a well-earned bucket of feed.
Leading the pack were Lamb-boughini, Mint Saucy, Phar-Lamb and Roast Ram, as they leapt over hurdles all the way to a bucket of grain.
Zyeisha Haitana, 11, said, while she lived near Palmerston North, Feilding was home for many years and she liked to come back.
"It's really cool. There is all the country stuff here at Rural Day. The family lives on a lifestyle block now and we have 10 lambs."
The Gumboot Relay was taken out by Design Builders and Totally Vets, whose tactic was to spread their elbows and take out anybody they could.