Claudelands set to host top bucking bronco show
An international rodeo expected to be viewed by millions is heading to Hamilton’s Claudelands Arena next month, Aaron Leaman reports
THE white-knuckle thrill of the rodeo is coming to Hamilton’s Claudelands Arena as the city plays host to an event with a television audience touted to be in the millions.
Organisers of the International Rodeo have confirmed the event is moving to Hamilton this year after four sellout seasons at CBS Canterbury Arena in Christchurch.
The event, scheduled for November 19, will showcase 32 bull and bronco riders from North and South America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Described as the ‘‘toughest sport of dirt’’, the International Rodeo has previously attracted some of the sport’s top competitors.
The event will also feature a performance by Kiwi band Dragon.
Securing the event – billed as one of the world’s largest indoor rodeo productions – will be seen as another major coup for the Claudelands Arena. It attracted more than 3000 people earlier this month when it played host to music event EDGEtravaganza and received widespread praise from performers, spectators and production experts.
That lineup included some of New Zealand’s top artists, including Stan Walker, Midnight Youth and Kids of 88.
Marketing material for the event stresses rodeo is not just for the blokes, with almost 85 per cent of tickets bought by females, although 55 per cent of spectators are men.
Previous international rodeos have attracted almost 250,000 New Zealand television viewers and event organisers Force Majeure Events International claimed almost 300 million people worldwide watched highlights packages from the event on television.
This year’s event will include bareback and saddle bronco riding, bull riding, pick-up riders and crowd favourites – rodeo clowns. It is estimated 80 per cent of the event’s audience will travel from outside Hamilton.