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The temperature peaked at 29.6degC at 3.30pm at nearby Otematata, but the scores of people crammed on to the uncovered bank overlooking the dusty action at Buscot Station did not seem to mind as they feasted on an assortment of cold beverages, snacks, spills and thrills.
Former club president Charlie Robinson, who bore a flag in the grand entry celebrating the rodeo's 25th year, has attended every Omarama Rodeo. He recalled a time before the turn of the century when the club lacked workers, had sold its horses and had no yards.
"When I took over as president, there would be four people at a meeting," he said. "Now we get around 20 with a few apologies."
New members were sought, the rodeo was shifted from Ginger Anderson's farm to a property nearby owned by Richard Gloag, new yards were erected and the event began to grow, Mr Robinson said.
A fixture on the circuit after helping to start the Waikouaiti Rodeo about 40 years ago, Mr Robinson had two sons involved in yesterday's action, including 2010-11 New Zealand saddle back champion Paul Robinson.
Mr Burnett, who was hoping for a crowd of about 2500 people yesterday, said the rodeo was the biggest annual event held in Omarama.
It was pivotal to the South Island Christmas circuit considering it clashed with rodeos in the North Island, he said.
He was enjoying a break of sorts from contract work scanning and marking sheep and cattle in and around North Otago with a group of 18-year-olds over summer.
"Give them a day off and you have to reprogramme them when they get back," he said.
The rodeo action yesterday was followed by a party in a marquee featuring food, and music by the Southern Man, Denis Henderson.
Rodeo results. -
Junior steer ride, Libby Bent. Division 2 barrel race, Julie Hogg. Junior barrel race: Casey Elstob. Division 2 bull ride: Wade Marshall. Division 2 bull ride shoot-out, Cameron MacDonald. Division 2 rope and tie, Timothy Evans.
Division 2 saddle bronc, Jeremy Dillon. Division 2 bareback, Tawera Tamakehu. Open bareback, Stuart de Ridder. Open rope and tie, Anthony Perkins. Open saddle bronc, Paul Robinson. Open barrel race, Angie Perkins.
Open steer wrestling, Chris Hood. Open team roping, Patrick McCarthy and Shane Cooper. Open bull ride, Adam Jamison.