A&P show mower race brawlers off the grid

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The combatants in last year’s infamous Ride On Lawn Mower Race stoush are sitting out this Saturday’s event.
 
The race – during the Lake Hayes A&P Show – created national headlines after Wanaka driver Willy Boyd threw punches at Arrowtowner Simon Hunt after Boyd’s smaller mower was T-boned by Hunt’s. 

“I can’t see us being there this year,” Hunt says. 

Hunt says he initially thought show organisers were going to ban him and Boyd but that they reconsidered after the event gained so much publicity. 

Show president Mike Smith says: “We’re not there to banish people but we’re not accepting inappropriate behaviour either.” 

The rules have been changed to disallow over-size mowers, Smith adds. 

Boyd is also not returning to race, his Stihl shop boss Mark McClellan says. 

“But one of my other lads is half keen to have a go. 

McClellan says his Stihl Shop, which sponsors the race, is doubling prize money to $1000. 

“It had some very good publicity so I thought we’d continue.
 
“I’d be surprised if we have the same level of excitement as last year but you never know.”
 
Meanwhile, Smith says spectators were buzzing after last year’s overall A&P Show.
 
“I think it’s been transformed and it’s now become a really good event for families to attend.”

The show begins about 10am. Entry is $10 for adults and free for schoolchildren.