Rodeo promoter hints at bringing top acts to Hamilton

MARYANNE TWENTYMAN
Last updated 05:00 26/11/2012
LAID-BACK: Whakatane cowboy Scott Graham, 26, competes in the bareback section of the International Rodeo at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton on Saturday night.
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ

LAID-BACK: Whakatane cowboy Scott Graham, 26, competes in the bareback section of the International Rodeo at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton on Saturday night.

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The company behind Saturday night's international rodeo is hoping to unveil some big names to perform in Hamilton with the potential to plough millions of dollars into the local economy.

Sydney-based promoter Darryl Tombleson, of Force Majeure Events, believes New Zealand is "underrated" as a location for international acts, but the former Kiwi is not giving too many secrets away.

"I can't say too much at the moment but, yes, I am hoping to unveil some names that have the potential to sell out within hours," he said.

"We don't wave the flag enough and I want to see us up there with the best of them and a lot of the time we are doing a better job anyway."

Mr Tombleson's comments flowed off the back of another successful International Rodeo Event at Claudelands on Saturday night where ticketholders were treated to a night of fast-paced, high-adrenalin entertainment.

"The production went well, there is certainly something magic about bringing an outdoor event indoors."

Mr Tombleson said Claudelands' versatility was key in securing future international bookings.

"We were at Claudelands for the netball international between the Silver Ferns and Australia and to think that that beautiful, highly polished wooden floor was replaced by 500 tonnes of soil for the rodeo on Saturday - well it's just incredible," he said.

The event, which cost more than $500,000 to run, involved more than 50 international riders with the majority arriving from the United States, Canada and Australia.

Mr Tombleson was pleased that rumours of protest action by animal cruelty protesters did not eventuate.

"We had a lot of comments about how they were going to infiltrate, like jumping into the ring or causing issues in the audience, but nothing happened," he said.

He believed that rodeo had come in for criticism from "ill-informed" people. "Not one person or animal was injured on the night and we had two people from the SPCA and vet staff at the event."

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- Waikato Times

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