Thu, May 23, 2024 4:34 PM

Gearing up for legendary hunt


Paula Hulburt

Final preparations are well underway for an iconic Marlborough hunt set to attract competitors from across the Top of the South.

For 15 years it has been a top highlight for hunters across the Top of the South.

And this year the iconic event is back with a bang, boasting more prizes, bigger prize money, and plenty of rewards for younger hunters.

Tavern owners and hunt organisers siblings Rowan Ingpen and Stacey Goodwin operate the tavern together with their parents Richard Marlow and Adrianna Ingpen.

Inspiring future generations of hunters is important to the experienced publicans who have worked hard to ensure the hunt is about the whole community.

For Rowan, the Woody Pig and Deer Hunt is a highlight of the year - a chance to bring people together and create memories.

"It's a fantastic day out for the whole family. Everybody enjoys themselves, mixing and mingling, and the kids love it.

“Every year is a highlight, seeing the community come together and enjoy the weigh-in and prizegiving.

“It is great to catch up and chew the fat with people who we haven't seen for the last year, and who make it their ritual to come to the hunt.”

From pigs to deer, rabbits to possums, every quarry presents a challenge.

Ten-year-old Richie McRae with his 18.88 kg goat at the 2022 hunt. Photo: Matt Brown/File

Some impressive records have been set in past years with Murray Frost’s big deer in 2017 weighing in at 122.6kg and Bruce Anderson’s 82kg pig in 2023 being ‘just shy’ of 200 pond pig.

Last year's champions, Toby Clay-Davis and Eddie Davis, set the bar high with their impressive boar, weighing in at a formidable 40 kilograms.

There will also be plenty of opportunities for younger hunters to make their mark with the Whippersnappers Prizegiving and the Young Guns/Opens awards ceremony.

Rowan says having Marlborough Motor Centre on board as the major sponsor has increased the numbers with the opportunity to win a ute in the Open Section.

“We are hoping to see an increase in Young Guns this year with Marlborough Motorcycles giving away a quad in this category as the major spot prize.

“We are also thrilled to have Marlborough Hunting and Fishing on board with the sponsorship of the Whippersnappers class.

“We are extremely grateful of the continued support of our amazing sponsors. An event of this size cannot be run without the sponsorship from local businesses, and we hope in return the competitors will support them."

Beyond the thrill of the hunt, the Woody Pig and Deer Hunt also serves as an opportunity to give back to the community.

Publican Rowan Ingpen and MC Chris Lippiatt address a strong crowd participants at the 2022 hunt. Photo: Matt Brown/File

The event's focus on conservation ensures that every hunt serves a greater purpose, with proceeds going towards initiatives like the Marlborough Falcon Conservation Trust.

The fun kicks off on 31 May, 1 and 2 June 2024 with entries closing May 2024. Visit for more information.

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