About 180 contestants competed at yesterday’s Wanaka Rodeo in front of a crowd of thousands. There were eight rodeo events contested on the day: bareback, rope & tie, saddle bronc, team roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling and the steer and bull rides.
The annual Wanaka Rodeo has been running on January 2, since 1963. The event, part of the five-rodeo South Island Christmas Circuit, offered competitors the chance to pick up championship points.
Wanaka Rodeo Club president Lyal Cocks said championship points were earned at all the rodeos and the competition was fierce to gain enough points to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo in March.
Top contestants from all around the country were at the rodeo, while local contestants were also well represented at all levels.
Among the locals Cocks said were slated to compete at the annual event were Patrick McCarthy, a past National All Round Champion, in the rope & tie and team roping and his wife, Deanna, in the team roping, along with other locals Roger Moseby, Bert Elstob and daughter Brooke, Dean Hudson and James Pinfold, who is also a top bareback rider. Barbi Sarginson was registered in the open barrel race while her daughters, Pyper and Olivia Arnold, were in the junior barrel race. Andrew Dawson and Damo Campbell were in the second division steer ride and young Charlie Burdon rode in the novice steer ride.