180 competitors turn up for Wanaka

Elih Long, 10, and Jakob Scott, 12, of Cromwell, at the Wanaka Rodeo.
Elih Long, 10, and Jakob Scott, 12, of Cromwell, at the Wanaka Rodeo.

The bull-riding action has kicked off in Wanaka today with the 51st Wanaka Rodeo.

Wanaka Rodeo Club president Lyal Cocks said 180 competitors from across New Zealand, and a rider from Australia, would take part in the event.

More than 15 sections will be held including eight in the open section.

A small amount of rain falling could not stop eager fans packing out the arena.

Today's event will double as the club's warm-up to hosting the Rodeo National Finals, which will also be held in Wanaka on March 8 and 9.

Wanaka is the first in the ''southern'' circuit for this year.

The official southern circuit started with Millers Flat on Boxing Day and Te Anau on December 20 last year.

After Wanaka, the key dates are Lawrence on February 2, Outram on February 6, Mataura, February 8 and Southland on February 9.

The Southland Times