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The country’s rural sporting heritage will be on display when the New Zealand Rural Games returns to Palmerston North next week. Visitors can watch a range of events at The Square, from the famous sheepdog trials, highland games and gumboot throwing, to speed shearing and cowpat throwing competitions. It is the A&P show on steroids. Three world record-holding shearers, Sacha Bond, Megan Whitehead and Jack Fagan will compete in the New Zealand speed shearing championship. Four-time winner of the NZ Golden Pliers, Tony Bouskill from Napier, will take on other leading fencers, including his dad, in the speed fencing championship. Male and female provincial tree climbing champions will compete in the New Zealand speed tree climbing championships. And at the NZ Rural Sports Awards on the Friday evening a charity auction will be held for the East Coast flood relief.