Friday, 28 December 2018

Rerewhakaaitu Rodeo: the early years

When Rodeo was...

"The Rerewhakaaitu Rodeo Association was formed in 1964 and the inaugural rodeo was held in  April 1964. 

The First ever Rodeo at Rerewhakaaitu :

"This was fitted in at the end of the regular circuit and attracted many top-riders who were anxious to pile on some points for the National Championship. Over 2,000 people attended which is pretty good for a country show" Rotorua Photo News, 9 May 1964, page 53.

9 May 1964 Photo News p.53
From the above photograph it looks like all the cowboys were in the ring together, including the one riding!  Just a little risk to life and limb!

Just one of the other Hazards! in Rotorua Photo News 9 May 1964 pg 53.

Photo of Susan O’Neill.  Caption says, 'her father, is the president of the Rerewhakaaitu Rodeo Assn.'

Rotorua Photo News, 9 May 1964 pg.57
Three years on and the sport was becoming more and more popular... 

Daily Post, 6 January 1967 and then...
... they lost. Daily Post 7 January 1967 

Phew, that was close!  in Rotorua Photo News 10 Feb 1967 pg.2

"Rerewhakaaitu is just another stop on the rodeo trail that over summer sees maybe 300 riders, both men and women, compete in 35 rodeos, scattered all over the country"  from "Dances with horses" by Mark Scott in NZ Geographic, Issue 21, Jan-Mar 1994.  Read the full story here

In 2002, Life Membership was awarded to Sue & Merv Church, Pat Dale and Alby Schuster.  Mr Mervyn T. Church was award an O.N.Z.M for services to the sport of Rodeo in the 2003 New Year Honours List" from 'Pupils, pastures & pine trees' by Rerewhakaaitu District Reunion Committee, c2003.

Rerewhakaaitu was also 10 years young in 1964.
Daily Post, 23rd April 1964, pg.8

The Rerewhakaaitu Rodeo has been held every year since this first one and despite country wide disapproval of rodeos in general, the Rodeo will be held again on 26 December 2018 at the Lake Rerewhakaaitu Domain.

This Post is by Alison.

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