Rodeo has something for everyone, says promoter
The International Rodeo returns to Hamilton tomorrow and promoter Darryl Tombleson is promising a new range of shows and entertainment.
On offer are the usual rodeo and bull-riding displays, plus New Zealand's Got Talent's Dogmatic, former Olympian Katie McVean, and Lord of the Rings stunt rider Sonia Duncan.
The Brendon Ham Band will play live on a suspended stage.
The event is also raising money for Canteen, offering ticket specials for donations.
"It's a good night and it appeals to the masses," Mr Tombleson said.
"We're even doing up the concourse in old western theme for the after-party, which everyone is welcome to."
Last year's 10-time Australian rodeo clown of the year, Big Al Wilson, and Rodeo Hall of Fame announcer Kedo Olson are back and excited to share their enthusiasm with everyone once again.
"This is my fifth time back in your beautiful country. You know, Christmas is no fun if there's no one to share it with and this is the same. It's going to be great," Mr Olson said.
Despite public outcry and animal rights lobby group Safe organising a protest at the Hamilton City Council building this Friday, Mr Tombleson said there were "no skeletons in our closet about that".
"They're all farmers and fanatical about how the animals are treated. We've operated for five years with no incident. The animals are only here for a few hours, it's not a big deal at all," he said.
"We get this all the time and they're often just misinformed. The animals are well cared for, and I wouldn't be here if that wasn't the case."
The rodeo is on this Saturday with tickets starting from about $50 at Ticketek.