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Molly from Queenstown

Doggy Day Care Festival Style

MEDIA RELEASE: Doggy Day Care at the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival

Doggy day care Queenstown style - aka the DB Export Dog Derby - is as adrenalized as any activity in the resort at the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival.

A record 87 dogs and their owners from all over the lower half of the South Island converged on the Remarkables Ski Area for the 42nd annual DB Export Dog Derby – the longest running event in the Festival’s 42 year history.

“It was great to see such a strong turnout for DB Export Dog Derby on the new course at the Remarkables Ski Area,” said Lisa Buckingham, Festival Director.

“There were cute pooches through to trusty Huntaways and everything in between and the usual chaos with some dogs choosing to do the course more than once despite their owners trying to call them back to the base.”  

Fifty-six country dogs and 31 townie dogs and their humans were taken up The Remarkables’ Alta Chair in crisp, sunny conditions before being let loose to run back down the mountain to the finish line where the country dogs also completed a ‘mustering’ task.

Veteran entrants Daniel Price and Bart from Athol won the country division, with Josh Harrex and Chap and Carl Portegys and Boss from Queenstown coming second and third respectively.

Townies Sean Beal and Sox from Arrowtown won their division with Brad Saville and Cliff and Tom Stokes and Mr Magoo from Queenstown coming second and third respectively.

The antics continued in Downtown Queenstown with the DB Export Dog Barking competition which was won by Guss from Omarama who had been brought to the event by Jesse Porter.  Second was Manson from Manapouri accompanied by John Broughton and third was Chief from Ohai with his human William Terry.

Best dressed was Sox from Arrowtown with Hitomi Beal and the most ignominious award of the day, Best Human Barker, because their dig Lister refused, was Fraser Hepburn of Queenstown.

Today is World Social Media Day and the Festival made the most of New Zealand’s time zone to get the jump on the rest of the world. Well-known social media influencers from Australia Jason Charles Hill and Hello Emilie (Emilie Ristevski) travelled to New Zealand to join American Trey Ratcliff and New Zealander Kyle Mulinder to mark the day.

The day started with a snowcat ride up the Remarkables Ski Area, then the WSM Day squad watched the DB Export Dog Derby before a helicopter flight to a secret mountain location before cruising on the Spirit of Queenstown to the World Social Media Day Bonfire & BBQ Instameet at Mount Nicholas Station. Their images and Facebook Live have reached millions of global followers proclaiming #winterstartshere and #QTwinterfest. 

Tomorrow’s (1 July) events include the return of Ultimate Ears Dodgeball, the Winter Boat Party with P Money and the SKYCITY Stampede facing off against the Canterbury Red Devils in the most highly anticipated game of the 2016 NZIHL season so far.

NOTE: Coronet Peak has confirmed that the launch of night skiing has been postponed for this Friday night (July 1) although the ski area still plans a great opening night party when conditions allow.

“Night skiing will go up in flames with local pro skiers flying through a ring of fire and we’ll have a DJ and fun bobsled races, only it’s unfortunate that we’re not able to do that as part of Winter Festival,” said Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland.

Meanwhile Festival’s Mountain Mayhem event – incorporating the hilarious Auckland Airport Suitcase Race, American Express Dash for Cash and kids Macpac Treasure Traverse – is moving from Coronet Peak to The Remarkables ski area on Saturday July 2. Registration for the kid’s treasure hunt starts at 10.30am with Mountain Mayhem events kicking off from 12 noon. 


Downloadable high-res images can be found in the media section and the event Galleries 

For further information contact:
Simone Flight
Media Manager
Phone: 022 124 5346
Email: [email protected] 

Background to the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival

WINTER STARTS HERE! From 24 June – 3 July 2016 the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival celebrates the start of winter like only Queenstown can, with street parties, music, comedy, family fun and madness up the mountain.

The American Express Opening Party and Fireworks kick starts the celebrations and is followed by ten days of fun, jam-packed with more than 60 events. From family events to DJs and nightlife - there’s something on the programme for everyone.

Queenstowners have always loved winter but it was made official when the very first Queenstown Winter Festival took place in 1975. A group of locals decided that the start of winter was a great excuse to have a party. They organised races on the mountains, with lollies for the little people and beers for the bigger people. With a concert or two and a town-wide ball thrown in, Winter Festival was a great success. News of the fun spread quickly and the next year people came from further afield to join the festivities.