Finalists announced for the Ford New Zealand Rural Sports Awards

The stage is set for an electrifying showcase of rural sports prowess as the finalists for the Ford New Zealand Rural Sports Awards 2024 have been unveiled.

The Ford New Zealand Rural Sports Awards, this prestigious event is a celebration of the indomitable spirit and excellence within the rural sports community.

Ford Motor Company of New Zealand Limited Managing Director Simon Rutherford said the Ford New Zealand Rural Sports Awards provide a platform to recognise the extraordinary talent and dedication of athletes who embody the true essence of rural New Zealand.

“These finalists represent the pinnacle of excellence in their respective sports, embodying the values of dedication, perseverance, and sportsmanship that define rural New Zealand and this is why we are so pleased to support and recognise them,” said Simon.

Taking place at the iconic Awapuni Racing Centre on Friday, March 8, 2024, during the Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games Weekend, the awards ceremony promises to be a night to remember, bringing together athletes, enthusiasts, and supporters from across the nation.

The finalists for each category are as follows:

PTS Logistics New Zealand Rural Sportsman of the Year

Bob Merhtens, 69 years-old of Timaru


Jack Jordan - 27 years-old of Taumarunui


Neil Evans, 65 years-old of Omihi, North Canterbury

Sheepdog Trials

The RX Plastics New Zealand Rural Sportswoman of the Year Award

Samantha Ottley, 32 years-old from Christchurch

Harness Racing

Sacha Bond, 30 years-old from Piopio in the King Country

Shearing Sports

Anne Paterson, 32 years-old expat from Blackbutt, Queensland


The Fonterra Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year Award

Clay Harris, 21 years-old from Mokauiti in the King Country

Shearing Sports

Wilson House, 19 years-old from Christchurch formerly Manawatū

Harness Racing

The Freebairn & Hehir Lawyers Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Rural Sports Award

Nigel Armstrong of Christchurch

Harness Racing

Bronwyn Troon of Taihape

Gumboot Throwing

Erana Stevens-Tulip of Te Kuiti


Courtesy Ford Lifetime Legacy Award

Pat Hellier from Kamo but living in Papamoa

Highland Games

Wayne Newdick from Taumarunui




Finalists announced for the Ford New Zealand Rural Sports Awards

Subscribe to our Newsetter