Rough riding at rodeo

RACHEL ASKEW
Last updated 15:30 06/02/2014
Southland Times photo
RACHEL ASKEW/Fairfax NZ
Graeme Gannon from Hawke’s Bay stays on his horse during the open saddle bronc competition.

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While the riders and their horses entertained the crowds under a hot sun at the 29th annual Lawrence Rodeo on Sunday, it was not always smooth riding.

During the open saddle bronc competition, one of the oldest events in rodeo, St John medics were twice called into the ring. Taumarunui's Matt West was carried off with what appeared to be a hip/leg injury and later helicoptered to Dunedin Hospital, while Jared Mee from Rangiora was also tended to by medics after coming off his horse.

As well as the saddle bronc event riders competed in bull riding, barrel racing, team roping, steer and calf riding, rope and tie and steer wrestling.

At 2pm the grand parade took place which included a flag ceremony, the national anthem and the cowboy's prayer.

Lawrence Rodeo Club president Graham Kenny presented Eddie Fitzgerald with a life membership award. Mr Fitzgerald took the opportunity to thank the club, as well as his mum.

"I'm absolutely humbled," he said.

"It's a great way to build character, make friends and have a bloody good time."

Lawrence Rodeo Club promotions officer Brent Taylor said about 1500 people watched around 200 riders compete.

"It was a good solid turnout, we were pretty chuffed, the gate take was as good as we'd expect."

Despite the many other events on over the weekend, it was a great day, the horses competed strongly and everyone was well-behaved, Mr Taylor said.

"There were a few injury concerns, but that's the sport, the guys know that."

Lawrence Rodeo winners Bull Ride (second division) first equal Logan Cornish (Omakau) and Bradley Lanigan (Kaitaia) Bull Ride (open) Paddy Church (Turangi) Barrel Race (second division) Deanna McCarthy (Rakaia) Barrel Race (junior) Paige Causer (Christchurch) Barrel Race (open) Rhondine Long (Mosgiel) Steer Ride (junior) first equal Brendon Johnston and Roany-Lane Waru (Gisborne) Calf Ride (junior) James Tauariki Bareback (second division) Logan Cornish (Omakau) Bareback (open) Scott Graham (Mamuku) Saddle Bronc (second division) Bradley Lanigan (Kaitaia) Saddle Bronc (open) Paul Robinson (Palmerston) Team Roping Mark Northcutt and Tony Church Rope & Tie Jerrad Hofstetter (USA) Steer Wrestling Greg Lamb (Gore)

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- Clutha Leader

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