Meet the finalists of Fieldays Rural Catch

Four men and four women from around the country have been named as the 2018 Fieldays Rural Catch finalists, vying for the coveted Golden Gumboot and an impressive prize pool. Fieldays Rural Catch, formerly known as the Rural Bachelor competition, has been a popular fixture on the Fieldays calendar for 13 years. The competition see’s eight talented rural competitors from around New Zealand and Australia test their skills both on and off the farm to find the ultimate champion.

2018 Fieldays Rural Catch finalists

  • Ben Fisher, a DairyNZ Farm Manager based in Ohaupo who is passionate about the rural sector and animal welfare.
  • Former Gumboot Girl, Eira Lloyd-Forrest of Geraldine, is passionate about animal health and supporting the agricultural industry.
  • Berny Hall, a Dairy Farmer from New Plymouth, who isn’t afraid to put himself out there and have a bit of fun, is looking for someone loyal, passionate, supportive and encouraging.
  • Trainee helicopter pilot and dry stock farmer Lilly Newton is outgoing, loves a good yarn, is caring and thoughtful towards animals and passionate about women in male-dominated careers.
  • Mairi Whittle, a former rural bank manager is currently working as a Shepherd on a sheep and beef farm east of Taihape.
  • Agricultural machine operator Mat Hilhorst of Atiamuri near Taupo. Mat loves a good laugh, enjoys being outdoors and his ideal date would involve doing something adventurous, having dinner and drinks then cutting some shapes on the dancefloor.
  • Renae Flett of Palmerston North. A sole contract milker who is passionate about animal health and pasture management.
  • Dairy Farm Manager, Sam Hughson enjoys working with cows and machinery and seeing the land develop. Sam is looking for someone with a good sense of humour, who has a positive mindset and appreciates the rural lifestyle.

This year the competition will feature the traditional challenges such as fencing, quad bike skills and dog handling as well as challenges involving tractors and cooking. The popular ‘fittest farmer’ challenge, testing finalist’s strength and fitness will feature again this year. Contestants will also have their financial skills tested in a ‘nail your numbers’ challenge.

The Fieldays Rural Catch winner walks away with the coveted ‘Golden Gumboot’ trophy as well as an impressive $20,000 prize pool.