Snow dog derby better late than never

Mark Edmunds, of Queenstown, and his dog, Bear, go for gold during yesterday’s Coronet Peak Dog...
Mark Edmunds, of Queenstown, and his dog, Bear, go for gold during yesterday’s Coronet Peak Dog Derby. PHOTO: NZSKI
After two false starts, Coronet Peak’s dog derby went off without a hitch yesterday — albeit without any farming K9s in the field.

Coronet Peak ski area manager Nigel Kerr said the event, historically held as part of the Queenstown Winter Festival, until the skifield decided to hold its own in 2018, was waylaid due to Covid-19 alert levels.

Initially pegged for June, it was rescheduled to August, but that landed "virtually on top of" the majority of the country going back into Alert Level 2.

"It hasn’t been an easy path to having a dog derby, but it went really well," Mr Kerr said.

"It’s one of those events you don’t want to fall off the calendar ... but I have to admit, the earlier date would have been far better for the rural community."

Mr Kerr said farmers and their faithful companions were not included in this year’s event, because "so few of them could make it".

"It’s just the wrong time [for the farmers]."

About 60 dogs, and their owners, headed up the hill to battle it out for glory yesterday — Triton Bain and Moose took out the Townie section. Axel Ruski-Jones and Arlo won the children’s competition.

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