Open bull ride winner Johnson Davis, of Rotorua. Photo by
Yesterday's 51st annual Wanaka Rodeo proved a successful
trial run for the national finals being held at the same venue
About 180 competitors and an estimated crowd of 4000 attended
the event, held at the Wanaka Rodeo Club's new arena at the
Albert Town Recreation Reserve.
The weather was a mixed affair, with wind, light rain showers
and patches of sunshine.
Some of the place-getters in the open categories were working
towards entry into the National Finals Rodeo - the pinnacle
event of the rodeo circuit - to be held at the Albert Town
grounds on March 8 and 9.
The top eight cowboys and cowgirls with the highest total
points from the 34 rodeos on the national circuit will be
guaranteed a spot in the finals.
It will be the first time the national event has been held at
the Albert Town facility, which was purpose-built a few years
ago when the club's original grounds in Golf Course Rd were
Wanaka last hosted the finals in 2001.
Open bull ride winner Johnson Davis, of Rotorua, said
yesterday he hoped to return to Wanaka in March.
''It was an outstanding day. It's an awesome rodeo grounds
and the facilities and stock are great. I'd love to be back
for the finals.''
Wanaka Rodeo Club president Lyal Cocks said the event had
gone smoothly and had been a huge success with competitors
and the crowd.
''The Wanaka Rodeo is one of the biggest and best rodeos in
the country and we are thrilled with the great turnout and
level of competition.
"There was some top-class action and the Wanaka Rodeo Club is
looking forward to hosting the National Finals Rodeo in
March,'' Mr Cocks said.