A face full of mud, but it's still fun

Rodeo arena muddy from the rain

BARBARA WITHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 27/12/2013
Chad Ryan
BARBARA WITHINGTON/Fairfax NZ
MUD FACE: Chad Ryan in the chutes ready to compete in the second division bull ride at the Millers Flat Rodeo yesterday.

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After breaking his collarbone last year, and getting a face full of mud this year, Chad Ryan, of Bluff, is hoping the Millers Flat Rodeo will have something better in store next year.

Competing in the second division bull ride, Ryan was thrown into the mud of an arena that had been inundated with more than 65mm of rain in the past few days.

Competing for five years, he admits he probably could do better if he worked at it more, but he enjoys the sport and has travelled to Mexico to compete.

"In Mexico, every rodeo has a buckle for every event and there are some big rewards," Ryan said.

"Now I just have to keep my day job at the freezing works to pay for this and call it sport."

Work by the Millers Flat Rodeo Club during the year saw the old wooden chutes replaced with steel, making it safer for animals and riders but a lot noisier for those standing nearby.

As the rain cleared and the temperature climbed, the crowd built steadily and they in turn warmed to the action in the arena.

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