with Horse and Hound

Phantasmagorial New Zealand

central otago hunt.nzCentral Otago Hunt, South Island, New Zealand

First of two installments by national award-winning journalist and author Karin Winegar.

Yes, they jump wire.

Wire and mostly wire fences, three to four feet high, five or six taut strands with a top strand, often barbed, is what contains New Zealand’s thirty million sheep, defines its vast stations, and renders rides thrilling for outsiders.

No one—at least not the Kiwis—thinks anything of it.

Kiwi horses, harrier hounds, and riders just barrel cheerfully along in a landscape that resembles (depending on the hunt country and the season) Provence, Africa, Montana, Ireland, California, or Norway. And given the size of New Zealand’s population—only 4.4 million—there are lots of horses, hounds, and riders.

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