Adrenaline buzz makes up for the bad breaks

Last updated 05:00 10/03/2014
 Former Wanaka man Tom Plunket
IN FORM: Former Wanaka man Tom Plunket in action at the New Zealand Rodeo Finals in Wanaka yesterday.

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Learning to fall off a bucking horse and being able to dust yourself off after injuring yourself was just part of being a dedicated buck rider.

And former Wanaka man Tom Plunket, who returned to Wanaka during the weekend to take part in the national rodeo finals, said you learned "pretty quick" not to fall off.

Plunket has been a part of the national rodeo circuit since taking up the sport two years ago.

He said to be among the top eight competitors in New Zealand in his section was the ultimate goal.

"You have to give it all you've got and take every horse buck for buck," he said.

Plunket, who works as a forestry digger driver in Methven, said taking part in the sport also took a lot of money. But it was money well spent.

"It's the adrenaline buzz. It's a really good lifestyle. There's a lot of travelling. You've got to be dedicated," he said.

Plunket said he had broken his wrist and been knocked out several times, but it was all part of being a rodeo rider.

Wanaka Rodeo Club president Lyal Cocks said after 12 months of planning everything turned out great for the competition. Top riders from throughout New Zealand and stock from throughout the South Island put on a display for the 3000 people who turned out to watch the event.

Wanaka A&P Show organisers were also celebrating another successful event on Friday and Saturday with more than 32,000 people taking part in the show.

The show attracted well known faces, with Prime Minister John Key, Olympic gold medallist Lisa Carrington, silver medallist Sarah Walker and London Paralympics multi-medallist Sophie Pascoe all helping to judge the Beef and Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards.

Vetlife won the Small Trade Exhibitor of the Year award, while Alpine Helicopters won Large Trade Exhibitor of the Year. More than 700 animals were on display over the two days and winners in livestock, equestrian and home industry events took home a prize pool of $31,138.

Show co-ordinator Jane Stalker said she was thrilled with this year's show.

"It's been a fantastic event. People come to see the animals, have some family fun, go shopping, catch up with friends and colleagues and, of course, do important industry networking. The Wanaka A&P Show is truly where town meets country and everyone has had a great time," she said.


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