Press Releases   November 16, 2020

Speedway family revs engine as New Zealand Lawn Legends

Glen and Kylie Leech, with their children Rubie and Harry.

Lawn Legends, Glen and Kylie Leech, with their children Rubie and Harry.

CRESTMEAD, Queensland (16 November 2020) –SPEEDWAY racing runs in the Leech family’s blood so it is fitting they have mowed a racetrack into the lawn at their Darfield, South Island home. 

The practice course on their rural block, which is about 45 minutes outside of Christchurch, not only gets plenty of use from Rubie (10) and Harry (6) – it also helped their father Glen win the John Deere Lawn Legend competition and secure a Z335E Residential ZTrak™ Zero-Turn Mower with 7P Poly Cart.

Glen's wife Kylie entered him in the contest after seeing it on Facebook. She built her entry around how much their family loves their 0.6 ha lawn and personal racetrack.

Glen's shock at winning was soon replaced with his excitement to add some ZTrak finesse to the course and replace his old equipment which made building and maintaining the backyard speedway a tough task. 

He mows the lawn and track about once a week. The rest of the back paddock receives a monthly maintenance trim which helps define the course's tight bends and long straights.

"The mower we were using had a catcher and we realised it was not suited to our larger property as the grass piles of clippings were really stacking up. We learned buying a mower without a mulcher was a mistake," Glen said.

"The ZTrak is exactly what we need."

The ZTrak has its work cut out navigating big trees in the yard, so Glen is eager to get the feel of how the Zero-Turn function on the machine will help slash his usual mowing time.

Given the Z335E can travel 11 km/h, he is keen to achieve a personal best for the weekly mow.

The family moved from a smaller property in Darfield to their bigger lifestyle block in March just two weeks before New Zealand's COVID-19 lockdown.

"We felt very lucky to be here," Kylie said.

"The kids were outside all the time, on their bikes, scooters, playing on the lawn or out in the back paddock racing around."

Rubie and Harry's interest in racing is not surprising, given they are the third generation of two speedway families. The siblings are not competing yet, but the backyard track has proved the perfect training ground to hone their skills behind the wheel. 

The family's previous lawn had been impacted by earthquakes, creating a rippled and rough surface interspersed with holes, which was not suitable for go-karts or playing in general.

Their Darfield block is a stark contrast with its smooth canvas of a lawn and Glen is eager to maintain its pristine condition with his new ZTrak.

The Z335E Residential ZTrak Zero-Turn Mower boasts a 107 cm (42 in) Accel Deep™ Deck.

John Deere, Tactical Marketing Manager, Fraser Scott, congratulated the Leech family on their win.

"Glen's love for his lawn and dedication to mowing the racetrack for his kids definitely makes him a Lawn Legend," Fraser said.

"We can't think of a better home for the Z335E Residential ZTrak Zero-Turn Mower than on their property."

Fraser said the Z335E would make quick work of the Leech family's lawn given the deck was stamped out of steel and built to tackle tough terrain.

"The 20 horsepower V-twin engine might not be what he is used to at the speedway, but we know it has plenty of grunt to tackle his track," Fraser said. 

Watch the moment the Leech family receive the keys to their the Z335E Residential ZTrak Zero-Turn Mower here.

About John Deere:
Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at in New Zealand at

Media Contacts:

Stacey Wordsworth
0438 394 371

Hannah Hardy
0421 196 004