Hawarden bull rider brings title south

ADRENALINE RUSH: North Canterbury bull rider Andrew Jamison with his winning saddle.
ADRENALINE RUSH: North Canterbury bull rider Andrew Jamison with his winning saddle.

A North Canterbury rider has defeated bucking bulls, history and his own brother to win a major rodeo title.

Andrew Jamison, 20, won the bull-riding championship at the National Rodeo Finals in Feilding last weekend, becoming the first South Islander to claim the title since 1987.

The Hawarden rider said he was happy to win what was "a real competition this year", when the result came down to the final round.

"Normally, it's decided before then, but this year there were four of us who could have won it."

His win was one of several titles for South Islanders.

Jamison said they used the opportunity to poke a bit of fun at the North Island competitors.

"We were giving them a bit of a hard time about taking their prizemoney, but they do that to us too when they win," he said.

Jamison's title also came at the expense of younger brother Adam, 17, who finished second in the competition.

However, he was not taking advantage of his family bragging rights.

"Nah, we're pretty good; we're great friends."

Jamison developed an interest in bull-riding when his father took him to a rodeo as a 10-year-old, and said it was "just a great adrenaline rush".

The sport was mentally challenging as well as physically demanding, he said.

"It's not easy, there's a lot to figure out – you need to have good self-belief."

Jamison started competing professionally in Canada two years ago, taking part in three to four rides a week during the rodeo season from April to November.

He was planning to continue competing overseas, although he did not want to permanently move to Canada.

"I don't like it when it's minus-40 degrees there in winter."

The Press