Thrills and (big) spills

Dust was flying at the 65th annual Tuamarina Rodeo and Vintage Farm Machinery Field Day in Tuamarina yesterday.

More than 2000 people turned out to watch as cowboys and cowgirls battled it out with bulls and steers.

Standout bull rider Rob Sheridan took home the Champion of Champions trophy, as well as Best Local Bull Rider trophy after coming first in the bare back ride, second in the bull ride and third in the 2nd division bull ride.

Mr Sheridan, 27, of Blenheim, has been riding in rodeos since he was 4-years-old.

He started because of his dad, Grant Sheridan, who is the Tuamarina Rodeo Association president.

"It just gets in your blood and you just have to do it," he said.

Jono Green, who lives at Whalesback Station near Kaikoura, started riding in rodeos five years ago at Tuamarina. The 24-year-old came second in the 2nd division bull ride.

He doesn't get as nervous as when he first started riding, but the adrenaline rush is still there, he said.

"The buzz from doing it is bloody good," he said. Tuamarina Rodeo Association president Grant Sheridan said there was a good turnout, despite visitor numbers being down from about 2500 last year.

All money raised from the rodeo would go to Tua Marina School and the Tuamarina Ratepayers Association.

The Marlborough Express