Thursday, February 07, 2008

NZ Cheese Rolling

New Zealand - More than 1500 people and one famous sheep flocked to a Southland farm yesterday for the Whitestone Cheese Rolling Championships. The event took place in sunshine at the Henderson family farm in Wendon Valley, Waikaka, 40km north of Gore, organisers said.

The event challenges participants to run after and catch a 4kg wheel of Windsor Blue cheese as it hurtles down a steep hill. The turnout of more than 1500 people topped last year's attendance, co-organiser Virginia Henderson said.

The winner of the championship final was last year's victor Tom Mackay.

"He's just like a talented athlete so there's all kinds of rumours," Ms Henderson said.

"His mother said last year he spent three weeks in physio after his win, but he's come back for more anyway and he did it again."

Celebrity cheese rollers included jeweller and businessman Michael Hill, and Shrek the sheep.

The event raised money for training autism therapists and developing resources to support autistic children and their families in Southland and Otago.

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