Outram Rodeo competitor 'seriously injured'

An experienced cowboy was knocked unconscious and suffered possible spinal injuries at the Outram Rodeo yesterday.

Cam Billing, of Te Awamutu, was airlifted by the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter after his horse reared in a stall as the gate opened for his ride in the open saddle bronc competition.

Cam Billing, of Te Awamutu, lies injured after being bucked into the back of a stall at the Outram Rodeo yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Cam Billing, of Te Awamutu, lies injured after being bucked into the back of a stall at the Outram Rodeo yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
''The horse reared and slammed him into the back of the chutes. It wasn't him getting bucked off that caused the injury. He was injured before he even came out,'' Fred Doherty, of the Outram Rodeo, said last night.

The rider, who was not wearing protective headgear, came off his horse just metres after the bucking horse left the chute. The announcer could be heard calling for immediate assistance from St John ambulance staff, who went to stabilise the knocked out rider.

He was initially assisted by fellow cowboys and officials.

He was then taken from the rodeo ring by ambulance to a nearby car park, where he was picked up by helicopter and taken to Dunedin Hospital.

St John spokesman Ian Henderson said last night Mr Billing had ''serious injuries, including possible spinal injuries''.

He was later reported to be in a stable condition in an orthopaedic ward at Dunedin Hospital. Mr Billing was ranked fifth in the saddle bronc event in the 2012-13 open standings, Mr Doherty said.

''It is one of those things that happen. A rodeo is inherently dangerous, I guess, and we don't like to see things like that happen but occasionally it does.''

Earlier in the open saddle bronc competition, judge Johnny Robinson, of Lawrence, sustained a minor leg injury after being hit by a horse that had just bucked off its rider.

- hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

Very well said!

Very well said!

Your opinion

Rodeo is a traditional sport in this country. It's been going on for a long time and those who follow the circuit are passionate about it and despite what you assume they actually have compassion for their animals. Rodeo is also a great spectator sport and takes a great deal of skill and bravery which you don't find in other sports. All the best to the Billing family.


It is terrible when a family is coming to terms with a serious injury  that they have to read such negative comments posted by a person condemning this sport on this website . It is disrespectful to this family. Yes everyone is entitled to their opinions but I am sure every time there is a major motor vechicle accident that you don't print or show videos of the accident victims suffering or possibly dead or get  a reader going  on abot the ACC cost when these people have been dangerous driving or drink driving let alone killing others also!  It's terrible what the family  of Cam Billing are facing at the moment.  Kitkat19  Hamilton .


Tormenting animals

I wish the horse rider who came to grief at Outram on Sunday all the best in his recovery.

It's time for everyone interested Rodeo competition and the greater community to have an open discussion of the merits of tormenting animals and the injuries incurred both to animals and participants.

The question will always be is why in a society that promotes respect for life and the avoidance of cruelty to animals do we accept the tormenting of horses and cattle as amusement ? The agricultural sector does not use the techniques employed in this country for animal handling that are found in Rodeo competition. There is no economic gain or advancement in knowledge by holding these archaic events. Should a cat or dog be remotely exposed to this type of base amusement everyone would howl in indignation. The photo of the situation on Sunday shows how the strap is used to elict the bucking responce and its effects that can only be discribed as tormenting, cruel & unnecessary. No it's not a sport or an activity a thinking human should accept as rational.

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