The Rodeo comes to town


The wild west comes to town just once each year – this Waitangi Day Outram becomes NZ’s cowboy capital for the day.   

Rodeo is all about tradition and heritage and keeping alive the skills of our pioneering forbears.  Rodeo is about boots and hats and western shirts, sweat, adrenaline, danger and excitement. 

It’s about horses and cattle, stockmen, steers and Brahman Bulls.  It’s about family and horse trucks and sitting around the bar-b as the sun goes down. 

A rodeo has 8 individual events and the junior classes of those events also.  The Juniors events are run in the morning as well as some of the Open events where there are large entries. 

Then around 2pm we have the colourful ‘Grand Entry’ where the rodeo nations flags are introduced to the crowd and the Open (adult) events are run. 

Contestants are all trying to win the approx $15K that will be paid out in prizemoney as the money they win gets added to their total winnings for the year, with the top 8 in each event at seasons end being invited to attend the National Finals, from where our National Champions are found.   

There are 2 Bucking Horse events, the Bareback and Saddle Bronc, each with different riding styles and rules, both an 8 second contest. 

Then there are the Timed Events where contestants race for the fastest time to get their mission completed - Rope & Tie where a calf is roped and legs tied; Team Roping where 2 contestants rope the head and heels of a steer like they used to on the range; Steer Wrestling where a cowboy dismounts at full gallop and wrestles a steer to the ground; and the recently introduced Breakaway Roping for the ladies, where a running calf is roped from a horse but not actually stopped and tied. 

Next is Barrel Racing, a ladies only event where the girls gallop their highly trained horses in a clover leaf pattern around 3 drums against the clock. 

And lastly there is the Bull Ride, rodeo’s most iconic event where cowboys attempt to stay on 800kg bulls for 8 seconds.  The Bull Ride is always the last event of the day and is the most dangerous event, guaranteed excitement!!    

Rodeo is about a day in the country where everyone is catered for.  There are food stalls so plenty to eat and drink, sideshows for the kids, western gear for sale, a licenced booth and non stop action in the arena.  There is always plenty of room on the natural grassy bank ‘grandstand’ so everyone gets a great view of the action. 

The Outram Rodeo grounds are on Formy St Outram, right on the edge of town.  Admission price is $20 per head or $40 per family. 

The Junior events are run in the morning with the action heating up around lunchtime with the 2nd division events, then the Open events from approx. 2.00pm onwards, finishing around 4.30 pm.  A great day out is guaranteed. 

Visit for more info about our great sport.