Teen rodeo entrant saddled with extra pressure

Riding bucking bulls and broncos is pretty nerve-racking at the best of times, but at the Waimate Rodeo yesterday Oamaru teenager Hayden Tisdall also had the added pressure of riding in front of a home crowd and living up to a family tradition.

The intrepid 18-year-old, who rode to a satisfying second place in the second division saddle bronc competition, was cheered on by family and friends, and he said it was a ''good feeling'' to perform well in front of family.

It was particularly satisfying as it was his family who had introduced him to the world of rodeo in the first place, he said.

''I started riding about seven years ago, just because my family have done it. Most of them have been involved in rodeo, so I just followed along in their footsteps.''

Out of the 10 South Island rodeos on the national circuit, Waimate was as close to home as it got for him, and he had not missed a Waimate Rodeo in his years of riding, Mr Tisdall said. This year's field was down slightly, some riders choosing to compete in Gisborne yesterday.

''It's pretty good having my family here to watch and to have them helping out.''

It was the 57th year that Waimate had hosted a rodeo, and the Waimate Showgrounds were packed with spectators.

Chute gate opener Nathan Booth said about 200 riders took part this year, entries being down slightly on last year as some riders had opted to ride in the North Island instead.