Family follows mother’s ambition into rodeo

Joseph Whitelock, of Hastings, has a fall during the open saddle bronc event at the Outram Rodeo....
Joseph Whitelock, of Hastings, has a fall during the open saddle bronc event at the Outram Rodeo. PHOTOS: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Not everyone has the fastest horse or the best-trained horse at the rodeo.

But there will be a child in the crowd who does not care and just wishes they could be out there, Bay of Plenty barrel racer Hinemoa Harris-Hayes says.

Mrs Harris-Hayes was one of a large field of barrel racers at the Outram Rodeo at the weekend, but growing up in Te Anau, she was outside the arena looking in.

Bella Nichol (10), of Lee Stream, enjoys the rodeo.
Bella Nichol (10), of Lee Stream, enjoys the rodeo.
"I remember being that little girl on the bank watching Stevie Church riding Cadillac, going ‘One day, I’m going to be like them’.

"It wasn’t so much about winning it was about going out and being a barrel racer."

The girl from Te Anau started a family in Te Teko, Bay of Plenty, and now four out of five Harris-Hayes family members who travelled to Outram competed at the weekend. Only Temea Harris-Hayes (15), who focused on rugby and touch instead, was not competing.

Husband and father Ryan Harris-Hayes was a team roper.

Son Taimana (11) won the junior barrel race on Saturday.

Lincoln Matchett (10), of Outram, feeds hay to calves at the rodeo on Saturday.
Lincoln Matchett (10), of Outram, feeds hay to calves at the rodeo on Saturday.
And 6-year-old son Ngaitiaki was the crowd-pleaser in the junior barrel racing, riding the littlest horse on the day, Mrs Harris-Hayes said.

In the South there was a lot of rural support for the rodeo, she said.

There were 45 juniors barrel racing on Saturday, another 40-odd second division girls, and more than 30 open competitors.

"There’s a lot of new ones coming into the sport and they’re the future," Mrs Harris-Hayes said. "This year it seems like the sport has grown."

Hinemoa Harris-Hayes with children (from left) Ngaitiaki and Taimana and husband Ryan Harris-Hayes.
Hinemoa Harris-Hayes with children (from left) Ngaitiaki and Taimana and husband Ryan Harris-Hayes.
The event at Outram grew last year, because at this time last year there was extensive flooding across Clutha and Southland and to make up for an inundated Mataura Rodeo, the Outram Rodeo Club held an emergency second day.

Club member Fred Doherty, who hosts the rodeo at his Outram farm, said after last year the club decided to push ahead with another two-day event this year, because it could.

Mervin Church jnr, of Rotorua, rides in the open bull event.
Mervin Church jnr, of Rotorua, rides in the open bull event.
While there was a danger of thinning out the crowd by splitting the event over two days, the Outram Rodeo Club was a strong enough club to do it, and the community support was again good this year as hundreds turned out to watch on Saturday, he said.

The Mataura Rodeo is scheduled for February 13 this year.

Nancy Franco, of Kaiapoi, competes in the open barrel race.
Nancy Franco, of Kaiapoi, competes in the open barrel race.
hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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