Fan­tasy comes true for for­mer jockey

Matamata Chronicle - - What’s On - ABBY BROWN

Bal­ly­more co-trainer Chad Ormsby’s fan­tasy of be­ing a cow­boy is com­ing true.

He rode in his sixth rodeo on Jan­uary 24 at the Kim­bolton back­yard bull­ride.

The re­tired jockey was joined by one of his fel­low Mata­mata track rid­ers, Ernie Rika, at the event,

‘‘It has al­ways been a fan­tasy of mine,’’ Ormsby said. ‘‘ Grow­ing up I went to horse sports where we rode calves, steer­sany­thing we could get our hands on but I never took that next step to rid­ing bulls.’’

Since start­ing to com­pete in Oc­to­ber of last year he has won the se­cond divi­sion at the Gis­borne and Mo­haka events.

When he is hav­ing a good run he feels re­laxed. ‘‘When you do it right you can do it all day but when you’re not in time with it and not feel­ing it it feels like the eight sec­onds is more like 20 sec­onds. ’’

He did not place in the se­cond divi­sion at Kim­bolton as he was bucked off in the first round and touched down on his se­cond bull. One hand al­ways has to stay in the air and the rider must stay on for eight sec­onds to have a qual­i­fy­ing ride.

Ormsby and Rika prac­tise on bulls in Paeroa. Rika, who rep­re­sented New Zealand in bull­rid­ing at the Syd­ney Easter show last year, didn’t place in the open divi­sion at Kim­bolton but won that sec­tion at the Rich­mond rodeo down south the day be­fore.

Their rac­ing ex­pe­ri­ence helps them beat the nerves. ‘‘I feel ex­cited rather than ner­vous be­fore a bull ride,’’ Ormsby said.

He wants to break into the open divi­sion, which takes more than a sea­son for most bull rid­ers. To qual­ify for that a bull rider must have earned over $2,500 in bull rid­ing events. ‘‘I’m still about $1,200 away from that.’’ He only has three or four bull rides to achieve that goal this year as he can’t at­tend all the bull rides as his pri­or­ity is at­tend­ing horse races where Bal­ly­more horses are com­pet­ing. He would have liked to at­tend the Hun­ter­ville bull ride but had to at­tend the Welling­ton Cup which the sta­ble’s Mister Im­pa­tience won.

PHOTO: SARAH KA­PUA

Ernie Rika on one of Parklee’s open cater­gory bull, Finns Full Throt­tle, at Kim­bolton.

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