Rodeo ac­tion

The Northern Advocate - - Front Page - Kristin Edge

There was plenty of buck­ing ac­tion at the Mid North­ern Rodeo with the best in the sport chal­leng­ing them­selves against the best bovine and equine an­i­mals.

How­ever, or­gan­is­ers were dis­ap­pointed with crowd num­bers, the low­est in re­cent years and the ac­tions of some pro­test­ers, who did not heed warn­ings not to film events with high­def­i­ni­tion cam­eras.

Mid North­ern Rodeo mem­ber Dianna Brad­shaw said an ap­prox­i­mately 1000-strong crowd watched the first day of com­pe­ti­tion on Satur­day and 700 turned out yes­ter­day.

While they had hoped for more spec­ta­tors, the 205 rodeo com­peti­tors did not dis­ap­point.

The Church fam­ily, syn­ony­mous with rodeo in New Zealand, had a good week­end with Merv Church tak­ing out the pres­ti­gious open bull ride event yes­ter­day. Lo­cal bar­rel racer Abby Tauariki won the all­women event.

Brad­shaw said no an­i­mals had been in­jured over the two days but the club’s pres­i­dent Noel Upton ended up in Whanga¯rei hos­pi­tal with six bro­ken ribs after his sup­pos­edly trained and well man­nered mount bucked un­ex­pect­edly as he was help­ing clear the main arena of bulls at the end of the day’s com­pe­ti­tion.

Upton landed on the pom­mel of the western sad­dle and cracked his ribs.

Yes­ter­day there was a minute’s si­lence to ac­knowl­edge the con­tri­bu­tion of long time rodeo sup­porter Viv Dob­son, who died last year.

Brad­shaw said po­lice were called on Satur­day after an­i­mal ac­tivists breached a ban on film­ing with high­def­i­ni­tion cam­eras.

Po­lice con­firmed they were called to the grounds but no ar­rests had been made. Most of the pro­test­ers stood at the main gates with plac­ards ex­press­ing their con­cerns.

Di­rect An­i­mal Ac­tion spokesper­son Apollo Taito said the ban was typ­i­cal of rodeo cow­boys who didn’t want wider New Zealand to know what re­ally went on at rodeos.

“There is a lack of trans­parency in rodeo that’s se­ri­ously con­cern­ing. What are they hid­ing? Are they afraid an­other an­i­mal will die to­day and it will be caught on cam­era?”

Photo / Michael Cun­ning­ham

Sam Church from Palmer­ston North makes an un­ortho­dox dis­mount in the bare­back bronc rid­ing event.

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