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After more than three decades in Omarama, rodeo is alive an well in the Waitaki Valley town.
Under sunny skies, the 33rd annual Omarama Rodeo drew hundreds to Buscot Station for the penultimate Christmas series rodeo on Saturday.
"You can see by the crowd — people still enjoy it,’’ Omarama Rodeo Club president Jamie Brice said.
"And this is a great thing for the community. It brings money into the wee town."
A contingent of about 20 volunteers was one of the best turnouts of helpers in recent years.
And after last year, when not one rider stayed on a bull, Omarama’s Clint McAughtrie was the only rider who lasted the full eight seconds, another point of pride for the hometown club, Mr Brice said.
The rodeo club committee had four members competing in a field that drew competitors from as far afield as Invercargill and Christchurch.
In the second division steer ride, the last rider, Roxburgh’s Luke Longley, claimed first prize with 57 points — and bagged himself the right to step up to the bigger bulls.
"He has earned his stripes and it’ll be an honour to have him in the open bull riding," arena announcer Madison Taylor said.
The Christmas series wraps up in Te Anau today.