Festival events go to the dogs

Ashley Broadman and her dog Wade skitter down the slope during the Queenstown Winter Festival dog derby yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Ashley Broadman and her dog Wade skitter down the slope during the Queenstown Winter Festival dog derby yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
They say every dog has its day, and that day was in Queenstown yesterday when about 60 dogs and their owners ran down a snowy mountain.

The oldest event of the Queenstown Winter Festival, the dog derby at Coronet Peak saw some competitors slide en masse into a safety fence as they lost their footing on ice at the bottom of the course, or lose track of their dogs altogether.

Divided into town and country categories, the townies raced first, with Sean Beale and Sox, of Queenstown, leading the field home.

Organisers then altered the course to make it safer for the country competitors' race, which was won by Hayden Ross and Gem, of Nokomai Station.

Apart from some sore muscles and a bleeding nose, no injuries were reported to humans or canines.

Town category runner-up Brad Saville, of Queenstown, with golden Labrador Cliff, said the event was ''awesome, wicked fun''.

''I was trying to keep up with this guy. He was going faster than me.''

He was chuffed they had done well in their first crack at the race.

Later in the afternoon, Beer, owned by Waimahaka farmer Cesil Stanway, won the dog barking contest at Earnslaw Park.


TODAY
From 7am:
Eichardt's Tavern Revisited, Queenstown Memorial Centre.
Noon: Dodgeball, Earnslaw Park.
4pm: Night skiing, Coronet Peak.
7pm: Ice hockey - Southern Stampede v Botany Swarm.

TOMORROW
10.30am:
Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Kids Magic Show, O'Connell's Mall.
Noon: Mountain Mayhem, Coronet Peak.
2.30pm: Family Fun Day, Queenstown Memorial Centre.
6pm: Mountain Scene Thriller in the Chiller, Queenstown Events Centre.
7pm: Ice hockey - Southern Stampede v Botany Swarm.