Hills rodeo bucks trend

25 Mar, 2012 02:00 AM
YEE-HAA: Oakbank Rodeo and Family Fun Day committee member Amelia Farrow, Mount Torrens, and president Alison Thomas, Woodside, are keen to promote the November event.
YEE-HAA: Oakbank Rodeo and Family Fun Day committee member Amelia Farrow, Mount Torrens, and president Alison Thomas, Woodside, are keen to promote the November event.

ALISON Thomas hopes to defy the decline in the traditional Aussie rodeo when she opens the gates for the first Oakbank Rodeo and Family Fun Day.

She heads a committee already flat-out organising the rodeo for Saturday, November 17, at the picturesque and iconic Oakbank Racecourse in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.

“A lot of rodeos in South Australia are not continuing,” Alison said.

“I have a four-year-old son and I think it would be a real shame if he never got to experience or understand how much fun rodeos can be.”

A long-time horserider and rodeo fan, Alison came up with the idea to hold a rodeo, and a committee was formed in January.

The locals hope to raise $50,000 for their community and sporting groups.

As part of their fundraising efforts they also plan to cover costs before the rodeo is held – an expense of $30,000 – so that all profits raised on the day of the rodeo can go directly to charity.

“We hope the rodeo sparks some interest and really broadens the spectrum,” she said.

“With Oakbank being so close to the city we hope a lot of people will come up and see us.”

Alison hopes the superb location – home of the hugely popular Easter picnic racing carnival – will also help boost numbers.

“It’s an iconic venue but it is also really user-friendly and has a huge capacity, so we won’t have to shut the gate once we reach a certain number,” she said.

“We want everyone to come and experience this event, especially because Oakbank is such a beautiful setting.”

Alison says the committee plans to work with other groups to enable disadvantaged children to attend the family fun day.

“This is a community-based event and we want to take the broadness of the community into account with this,” she said.

The committee have also set up a page on social media site Facebook called Oakbank Rodeo and Family Fun Day.

Already, more than 200 people have ‘liked’ the page.

A sub-rodeo committee made up of technical advisers including Glen Kent, Sue and David Rowden, and Mark Heuritsch, “half a dozen” volunteers and a stock contractor are also involved.

Events will include rough stock (bucking bulls and bucking horses), timed events such as breakaway roping, and a ute muster.

She says the crowd will see some very talented SA riders including Australian champion bareback bronc rider Glen Kent, who is also on the technical committee.

The family fun day – from mid-morning before the rodeo starts at night – will have trick horsemen and women such as the Adelaide Hills’ Brenton Matthews showing their skills, plus campdrafting and polo demonstrations, whipcracking, pony rides, carnival rides and tug-o-war competitions.

Local sporting clubs are set to compete against each other, and the South Australian Barrel Horse Association may run classes.

Prizemoney will be awarded for all events, and buckles will go to winners of the all-round cowboy and cowgirl of the night.

Alison says the few rodeos left in SA include Marrabel, Murray Bridge, Kapunda, Wilmington, Carrieton, Mount Gambier, Spalding and Clare.

“All of those are pretty far away from where many of us live,” she said.

“I would hate to think that kids today would not get the chance to learn about their Australian heritage and be able to attend events such as these”.

“The horsemanship shown at rodeos is incredible.

Entry to the rodeo is expected to cost $20 an adult or $50 a family (for two parents and unlimited children).

  • Full report in Stock Journal, March 22 issue, 2012.
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    18/04/2012 12:59:11 PM, on Stock Journal

    I don't suppose anyone thought to consider why an activity (it's not a sport) like rodeos are in decline? I would have thought Oakbank would be keen to improve its animal welfare reputation rather than attract more negative publicity - raising charity money at the expense of animal welfare? What recalcitrant thinking.
    18/04/2012 4:13:31 PM, on Stock Journal

    You must be joking!! How can anyone even consider putting animals through the stress and possible injury or death at a rodeo. Surely lessons should have been learned from what happened at Oakbank.
    18/04/2012 8:02:06 PM, on Stock Journal

    What a shame that the 4 year old may miss out on seeing such a cruel event. Rodeos are disgusting and should be completely banned. To hold it as an excuse to raise for charity is just a way of making the cruelty look OK to those who are tempted to attend. To abuse animals to raise money for charity, how low can you go????
    18/04/2012 11:50:33 PM, on Stock Journal

    Family fun day??? Family fun day in the 21st century has moved on from watching the death and injury of animals as a source of entertainment!! Hang your heads in shame and look at the year of your calendar, it's 2012 not 1812 !!! South Australia - moving forward into the 19th century.
    18/04/2012 11:54:08 PM, on Stock Journal

    It is an out-dated so called sport! It is cruel and wrong!! Oakbank already has one murderous sport they employ ...god forbid there will be more! How dissappointing!
    19/04/2012 12:19:22 PM, on Stock Journal

    I cannot belive that this is to be seriously considered. The people who are calling for a rodeo either do not care for animals at all or they are too dumb to really understand the cruelty of a rodeo. To subject children to one of these events is tantamount to child abuse. Wake up people.
    Maxine crawford
    19/04/2012 3:29:43 PM, on Stock Journal

    Just hang your heads in shame at the torture of these animals. What is wrong with Oakbank Council for allowing it? In an humane society, this is not acceptable!
    24/04/2012 12:27:22 PM, on Stock Journal

    There has already been enough video and eye witness evidence over the past few years to prove that rodeos are events that result in animals being frightened and injured at the expense of human 'entertainment'. No one should want to participate in events that do not look after the welfare of animals and promote animal cruelty. Rodeos are proven to be events that do this. My family does not consider this 'family fun' and I am glad my 8 yo son has never had to witness a rodeo as I have.
    Original Scary
    24/04/2012 12:53:07 PM, on Stock Journal

    Rodeos are sadistic animal cruelty non family events promoted by greedy people & stupid people that don't know any better. Donating profits to charity is wording to fool the very dumb ones. Taking a child to an animal cruelty event would be a form of child abuse as responsible parents do not promote animal cruelty. If you're thinking of attending a rodeo do your homework first so you're not labelled as stupid. If you then decide to attand a rodeo then you perpetuate animal cruelty, may the same happen to you one thousand fold.
    24/04/2012 2:12:30 PM, on Stock Journal

    What's wrong with a good ol' country fair with show rides and bags rather than a rodeo! Couldn't think of anything worse. Horses backs breaking, calves being hog tied. And some people call that entertainment...
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