Red Bull Foxhunt took place at Cardrona, Wanaka with 100 of the best downhill mountain bike riders taking part in the mass-start enduro mountain bike race.
Red Bull athletes and world-leading downhill mountain bikers, Brook 'The Bulldog' Macdonald, Jess Blewitt, and Remy Morton challenged the 100 riders from across New Zealand as they become 'the foxes' chasing down their ‘prey’ to the finish line.
For the uninitiated, Red Bull Foxhunt is a twist on the often controversial pastime of fox-hunting - with the roles reversed. The Foxes, Macdonald, Blewitt, and Morton chase down the hunt, in a no-holes barred downhill mountain bike race. With a mass start for the hunt before the foxes start soon after.
The hunt would be up against it to cross the line before being caught and passed by the foxes with this year's event seeing a stellar lineup of riders chasing them down.
New Zealander Brook MacDonald, known for his never-say-die attitude and hard-charging style is a former junior downhill mountain bike world champion and has continued to make his mark on the senior circuit with podiums on the UCI World Cup circuit in both Canada and on the famed Fort William track in Scotland.
Brook would be joined by fellow Red Bull athlete and the first female fox Jess Blewitt, another New Zealander with a big reputation, Jess has been rising through the mountain biking ranks with some attention-grabbing performances and was the first female to be invited to Red Bull Hardline last year.
The third Fox would be 24-year-old Australian Remy Morton who is well known as one of the best all-around bike riders out there, from BMX dirt jumps or massive freeride MTB lines, Remy loves nothing better than going big on a bike.
The 9.5km race kicked off with the riders lined up at the top of Cardrona for the mass start while the foxes were set several meters back to chase the riders and started shortly after. In an impressive 13 minutes and 8 seconds, Sean McCarroll was first to the finish line taking first place, followed by Gareth Burgees and Sam Blenkinsop who all managed to impressively beat the foxes.
Brook Macdonald was buzzing after the race saying ‘’Red Bull Foxhunt was epic. It was awesome to go head-to-head against some of New Zealand’s best and the atmosphere was next-level. Next year I’ll be gunning to take first place.’’
In the female race there was a strong line-up of riders, Louise Ferguson led the pack coming in at 14 minutes and 30 seconds followed by Lynette Deacon and Emma Olofsson. Red Bull Foxhunt fox and 20-year-old New Zealand Downhill Champion Jess Blewitt was the second woman to cross the finish line and was thrilled to get amongst the pack.
‘’That was pretty wild. There are some talented riders in there and that course was intense - Louise did an impressive job with that finish time. The energy throughout the whole day and race was insane!’’ Jess said.
The 100 riders that took part in Red Bull Foxhunt showcased the talent and energy of the mountain bike scene in New Zealand. They celebrated a day of carnage, excitement, and fun with an open-door afterparty that took place at Yonder, Queenstown with performances by PDiggs and Sambora.
Check out the carnage from the 2023 Red Bull Foxhunt with a riders epic POV footage below.