About the Festival
Hunterville was established in 1884. The village takes its name from George Hunter who walked from Wellington and placed a peg on the site. The village has a population of 440 according to the 2006 Census and services the numerous farms in the district many of which are still in the hands of the original settlers’ families. There are a number of shops in the village as well as two pubs, a café and the Hunterville & Districts Settlers Museum which is open on Friday afternoons or by arrangement and is well worth a visit.
We have a resident pipe band - the Rangitikei Scots formed in 1923 which supports local events in the region as well as competing nationally in competitions - be here on a Monday night to hear them practise.
Have your photo taken on one of the sheep sculptures in Bruce Street, the main shopping street or by the Huntaway dog statue on State Highway One erected to celebrate the fact that Hunterville is known as “the Huntaway Capital of the World” boasting more Huntaway sheepdogs in the area than anywhere else.
2013 Huntaway Festival
The Hunterville Huntaway Festival is held annually and this year it will be held on Saturday 2 November.
The Festival commences at midday with a dog barking competition followed by the Childrens' Shemozzle and Interschool Challege which is run in the town using some of the main race obstacles. This event is open to primary school children 9 years and over.
The feature race, the Shepherds' Shemozzle, now entering its 15th year is run mid afternoon. This gruelling cross country obstacle event is centred around the Shepherds and their Huntaway dogs competing over an endurance and obstacle course. Previous years have seen competitors swallowing raw eggs, munching on dry weetbix washed down with a can of warm beer, huhu bugs with cold cooking oil or a sheep's eye and cream! What delicacy will be available this year?
The route and finer details of the Shepherds' Shemozzle are not revealed to contestants until the Shepherd's meeting minutes before the race. In 2007 the course underwent a major change with the race starting in town. Since 2010 the Shepherds started in the Town Hall and when they hit the road they had no idea where to find their beloved Huntaway Dogs who were none the wiser and quite happily enjoying being tied up in the main streets with 83 other Huntaway Dogs minus their owners. The mudslide also returned and was super slick and ultra muddy thanks to the hard work of the race committee and loyal support from the farm owner Nigel Price. Who knows what the race will involve next year - the only thing that organisers can guarantee is that the Shepherds' Shemozzle will be just that "A Shemozzle".
Back again this year will be the Shearing Competition. Four or Five local Shearing Contracting Teams will "Shear Off" for the title "2013 Shemozzle Shearing Contractor" - not your normal speed shearing.
Throughout the day various forms of country entertainment, together with children's activities and numerous quality stalls will be available.
The day ends with entertainment by a band in our marquee which is furnished with a bar and dance floor.
The Hunterville Huntaway Festival is a fun day and one not to be missed!