Jerrad Hofstetter watches as Stu Moore, of Roxburgh, lassoes a practice calf on Dandy. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
New Zealand rodeo competitors learned the ropes in
Professional rodeo cowboy Jerrad Hofstetter, from Lubbock,
Texas, showed the locals some tricks at a rope and tie
''I'm showing them how to rope and tie. You aim at the back
of the calf's neck,'' he explained.
''This is my first time here and it's a beautiful country.
''This is just like our schools at home. We have more people
that do it; that's all. They really enjoy it so much more
here. At home, the guys get so competitive and they forget
the fun part. Sometimes. I don't like that. It's about fun.''
Mr Hofstetter, whose Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association
career earnings stand at $US426,109 ($NZ506,040), learned to
rope after he fashioned a home-made lasso out of an old rope
when he was 11.
''You learn what you're doing right and what you're doing
wrong,'' veteran Otago Cavalcade trail boss Stu Moore, of
Roxburgh, said of the school.
''He teaches you the shortest and easiest way,'' rodeo novice
John Priebee, of Alexandra, said.
''For me, it's about the challenge of doing something new.
I've followed my wife, Jo, around rodeos for years and
thought I'd better have a go at it.''
New Zealand Rodeo Association member Mike Sanderson said the
school was held to coincide with a heavy rodeo schedule in
the lower South Island this week.
''We have five rodeos in a week, so it's the ideal time to
run the school, because every man and his dog is down here.
''Jerrad is helping them improve their roping and rodeo
skills. It makes a huge difference. The Americans are 20
years ahead of us, although guys like Jerrad coming over are
helping us to close the gap.''
Organiser Kim Wensor, of Taupo, said 20 cowboys from around
New Zealand attended the three-day course at Middlemarch
farmer Don Tisdall's property.
''It's something that we're going to do every year. Rodeo is
really growing in New Zealand. It's a fun sport which the
whole family can enjoy. Everyone loves going to the rodeo.''
Mr Hofstetter will compete in the calf-roping at the Outram
Rodeo today, before returning to Texas on Friday.
He also entered the event at the Lawrence and Waikouaiti
rodeos last weekend - and won them both at a canter.