Waikato Rodeo 2014

I didn’t know NZ had rodeos, but when I found out (through a random flyer on a shop in downtown Te Awamutu), I had to go. Living in Idaho for 3 months has instilled a fascination with ranch culture, and I missed out rodeo season there by a couple of weeks. I also missed 4th of July by a couple of days, but that’s another story..

Photography-wise this is when I rock out the telephoto and try to get cool action shots.

During this event I learnt that there are several main rodeo events…

Bull ride is self-explanatory. Ride a mad bull and try to stay on top for a given amount of time. You’re supposed to ride one-handed, so the other hand is normally up in the air giving this awesome victory pose.

I love it when the photo shows the cowboy hat pulled to the front as per below.

Bull riding
Bull riding

Bare back riding is similar, but on a horse with no saddle. From memory the score is based on how crazy the horse ‘bucks’ (goes up and down to throw you off).

Bare back riding
Bare back riding
The quintessential rodeo shot
The quintessential rodeo shot

The more sand the horse kicks up, the more drama it adds to the photograph! And when you add the cool arm in the air and the hat at a jaunty angle, you get a really awesome action shot 🙂

Spotty horse
Spotty horse
Sandy action
Sandy action

Those really good riders can stay on horse for a really long time. But getting off is a different problem altogether…

How to get off a horse
How to get off a horse
With a little help from my friends
With a little help from my friends

The next event we saw was roping, where you chase down a calf and catch it with a rope (those cool lasso tricks I used to watch in cartoons). Then you run in and tie the calf’s legs as quickly as possible. I feel a bit bad for the calves, I hope they didn’t get too traumatised by the whole ordeal.

Roping
Roping
Roping
Roping

So that’s the Waikato Rodeo 2014. A nice day to spend with family in the summer 🙂

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