‘Great day’ at growing rodeo

A day of thrills and spills was on offer near Waipiata, when the seventh annual Maniototo Rodeo rolled into town yesterday.

The event drew a large crowd of spectators to the Maniototo Rodeo Grounds.

Maniototo Rodeo Club president Stuart Weir said the event had been a success.

"Great day, great atmosphere, great entertainment — it’s a really good day for the family," Mr Weir said.

He believed there had been a growth in the sport and had seen bigger crowds and more competitors at events this past summer.

"More than just the rodeo crowd, [we get] a lot of townies come [to] visit," he said.

"Fantastic crowd here today — lots of applauding going on, lots of clapping."

Riders travelled from across New Zealand to take part in a circuit of rodeos happening in the South, Mr Weir said.

Stuart de Ridder, of Hawarden, competes in the open bareback category at the Maniototo Rodeo...
Stuart de Ridder, of Hawarden, competes in the open bareback category at the Maniototo Rodeo yesterday. PHOTO: RUBY SHAW
Many travelled to the Maniototo after the Waimate Rodeo on Saturday.

"All the competitors came over [Saturday] night and all camped together out in the paddock with the horses’ floats and horses."

This fostered a "real community" feeling between riders at rodeo events.

There were about 300 competitors who took part in the rodeo — from novice riders right through to some of New Zealand’s best, he said.

"For us, our competitor numbers have grown."

More novice and junior riders were taking part in events, attracted by the "thrill" of the sport, Mr Weir said.

"They’re actually not from generational rodeo families," he said.

"We’ve got a lot of new ones coming into it."

ruby.shaw@odt.co.nz

 

 

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