Rising Stars – Te Awamutu, Season 2 | Issue 197

Mar 15, 2024

What a difference a year makes.  Last year around this time Waipa hosted the CK Import Export Rising Stars after a long hiatus.  That was a great night, but it was noticeably tempered by the impact of cyclone Gabrielle just a week before which did dampen the mood.

This time we had a clear run of non-events leading up to the big day and farmer mood was noticeably more upbeat.  As with last year there was a good turnout – both in entries (83 over 10 classes) and attendees (no head count but it looked similar to last year and it was up against a Pink concert in Auckland).

Last year it seemed to be the Todd and Jo Crowley Awards as they scooped up most of the classes, this year the South Island struck back nudging out Crowley Deer Ltd from winning all but two of the classes (but they did dominate the 2 Year Hard Antler class).

Hub Hall, one of the judges remarked on the overall improvement in quality and the size of 2-year-old antler (which has led many people to think that a different scoring system was being used… but in fact it was still the same system, just larger heads).

While I’m more used to looking at velvet, seeing the wall of hard antler on display was impressive and a good reminder that an excited, testosterone-filled stag wandering around with a set of those on its head was something to be avoided at all costs!  I’ve been told that the fallow bucks are even worse (and I’m not going to try to find that out for myself).

The dinner was very enjoyable and entertaining (hard not to be when sitting next to Grant Charteris) and I’ll probably pinch Leith’s joke about the surgeon operating on politicians and use that at Christmas time instead of my usual lame Dad jokes. 

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the entrants. Well done to the Waipa branch on another successful Rising Stars – the driving force being Helen Clarke and ably assisted by Jacqui Wellington and others.  Thanks also to CK Import Export as the major sponsor and the many other class sponsors that allow the event to take place.

I’m already looking forward to next year and hope to see the North Island make a comeback.

The sizes of the glittering prizes on offer.

Elk/Wapiti in the front, Super Heavy Weight in the back. Stuck in the middle with you.

Justin Stevens getting to the pointy end of the day.

For he’s a jolly good fallow!

Winners for this year’s Rising Stars competition


Stag Name


1 Year Hard Antler


Whyte Farming

2 Year Hard Antler


Crowley Deer

3 Year Hard Antler

Tommy DG

Cruse Deer

4 Year Hard Antler


Canes Deer

3 Year Fallow Hard Antler


Pinewood Deer

Sire of Three


Crowley Deer

2 Year Red Velvet


Brock Deer

Super Heavy Weight Velvet


Cruse Deer

2 Year Elk/Wapiti Velvet


Tikana Wapiti

2 Year Elk/Wapiti Hard Antler - Typical


Whyte Farming

2 Year Elk/Wapiti Hard Antler – Non-Typical

662 WW

Whyte Farming

People’s Choice – Hard Antler


Canes Deer

People’s Choice – Velvet


Forest Road Farm/Brock

Supreme Trophy


Canes Deer

- Lindsay Fung, Producer Manager 

Continue reading DFA Stagline Issue 197, next: Noticeboard & Events >>

Back to Industry News