Rodeo tough enough to wear pink

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For the past four years, the Waikouaiti Rodeo has been tough enough to wear pink and with the rodeo holding its 50th event on Saturday, all the stops are being pulled out for another great day for all involved.

The previous events have raised more than $37,000 for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation (NZBCF) and organisers are hoping a substantial amount will be raised again.

The club’s aim is to hold a fun, family event in a day that will have all the thrills and spills of rodeo.

There will plenty to keep the youngsters entertained in the Oceana Gold Kids’ Country Area.

Activities include horsey hopper races, pony rides, a balloon artist, sheep riding, cowboy kids roper and autographs sessions.

The Southfuels Otago Dancing Girls will be attending in the afternoon to entertain and help with the sale of commemorative pink bandannas, and to hand out spot prizes to those wearing the best pink costumes.

The 2013 rodeo captured the town’s imagination with local businesses adopting pink and the The Green Room shop being renamed “The Pink Room” for the week.

The club is expecting to have 300 of the top cowboys and cowgirls from across New Zealand and beyond entered in the Bull Ride, Saddle Bronc, Bareback, Steer Wrestling, Rope and Tie, Barrel Race, and Team Roping events.

Jerrad Hofstetter, of Texas, will return to compete in two roping events while fellow Texan Mark Northcutt, who has been competing in rodeos in the North Island for most of the summer, will bring his skills in team roping and and rope and tie to the South Island circuit along with Western Australia’s Katy Smith, a second division barrel racer who is competing on a borrowed horse.

Gates open at 8am with second division events. The open programme will start at 1pm. Admission: Adults $15; kids $5 (under 12 free). Family concessions available.

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: Angie Perkins of Wanaka in action during last year’s rodeo – ANDREW MACKAY