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50 years of rodeo in Te Anau

Graeme Gannon, of Tutira, made an untimely exit in the Open Saddle Bronc at last year's Te Anau Rodeo.

The Te Anau Rodeo is counting on a strong turnout of competitors and new family-friendly activities to ring in its 50th year next week.

Te Anau will round out 2017 with its long-stranding rodeo on December 30. 

Club secretary Peter Dolamore said to mark its 50th anniversary, club member Bruce Campbell would be making a special presentation recounting the history of the event.

In addition the usual offerings, Mr Dolamore said the rodeo would be bringing back second division bull riding this year. The event had attracted 30 competitors, including four local riders.

There were 11 entries in the open bull riding, including four riders from Australia. 

"There should be some top bull riders," he said.

For the kids, the Te Anau Pony Club would be offering pony rides for the first time, as well as other fun activities like riding mini-jeeps.

Mr Dolamore said the club was "pretty humbled" by all the support the rodeo got from the community, and wanted to thank local sponsors and community groups. 

The event was a good fundraiser that put money back into the community thanks to the work previous organisers had put into the event over the course of its 50-year history, he said.

The Te Anau Rodeo starts at 1pm on Saturday, December 30 at the Te Anau Rodeo Grounds.

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