Young rodeo rider feels need for speed

At just 12 years old and with five years of experience, Chloe Ruddle is a rider for rodeo fans to keep an eye on.

The Oamaru girl competed in the junior barrel race at the 64th annual Waimate Rodeo at the Southern Canterbury A & P Showgrounds yesterday, one of 32 riders listed to take part in the discipline.

While Chloe was unable to secure a top-three finish, she was happy nonetheless.

"I’m really happy with it.

"I came in with an 18.023, I think, so it was good."

Oamaru’s Chloe Ruddle (12) guides her horse around a barrel in the junior barrel race at the...
Oamaru’s Chloe Ruddle (12) guides her horse around a barrel in the junior barrel race at the Waimate Rodeo at the Southern Canterbury A & P Showgrounds yesterday. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Chloe, who has raced for five years, has shown good form in recent times, finishing second twice and winning in Methven in 2019.

Competitive by nature, she has a friendly rivalry going with her siblings — Amy Parish and Ryan Tate — who got her interested in the sport.

"My older sister barrel raced and then we kind of got me a pony ... it’s the excitement of it and the nerves you get. It just makes the racing that much more exciting.

"I really like doing it and enjoy it."

Elsewhere, dozens of competitors took to the arena for the team roping, bull ride, steer ride, barrel race, bareback, saddle bronc and rope and steer wrestling events in either junior, team, second division or open categories.

There was action aplenty throughout the day, with some showing plenty of speed and agility in the barrel racing and others managing to hold their nerve and stay clinging on to their mount for the full eight seconds in the bull and steer ride, bareback and saddle bronc events.

The majority of riders got thought relatively unscathed with a few bumps and bruises, with the exception of Outram’s Russell Beattie who sent a ripple of concern through the several hundred

spectators.

He took a nasty fall during the second division saddle bronc and looked to have been knocked unconscious.

However, he walked away with the assistance of St John staff who came quickly to his aid as he lay prone.

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