Rodeo rookie title just for starters
New Zealand's leading rookie cowboy is now eager to see just where his skills can take him.
Last weekend Taramoa teen Wade Marshall did enough at the Waimarino Rodeo - the last rodeo of the 2012-13 New Zealand circuit - to cap off the season in style, claiming a New Zealand title for All Round Rookie Champion.
The young farmhand claimed the honour, calculated on prize money won across the national circuit, with $3000 prize money.
Marshall was obviously delighted with his success and it has him craving bigger challenges.
Next season he will compete in the tougher open section competition on the New Zealand circuit, and after the season he plans to head to Canada to test himself against international competition.
"It's one of the bigger ones," he said yesterday of the Canada circuit. "If things go well there's bigger opportunities, you've just got to take them."
Rodeo isn't for the fainthearted - the objective is to hold on while hefty bulls and horses try to chuck the riders off.
But Marshall loves it. It's been in his blood for more than a decade since he tagged along to the rodeo as a youngster with his parents.
"It's a family sport, you make so many friends at it and you meet so many people across New Zealand.
"It's a good way to be, I think. You just learn and challenge yourself; it's a competition between you and the beast."
Marshall says fitness is paramount, which means he does plenty of running outside of competition. His body takes a hammering and he does what he can to ensure he can handle it, employing physical and mental strength.
"The last rodeo of the season I thought I was fine when I went into the rodeo but after getting a bit of a beating by a horse in the chute I came up a bit sore. But you've just got to learn to ride through it, ‘cowboy up'," he said.
Marshall will have a couple of weeks off before competing at the 8 Seconds Bull Riding event at Hanmer Springs.
- The Southland Times