In the inaugural Mackenzie Buckle series, “roping machines” have replaced live cattle, which organizers are hoping can continue uninterrupted in early September at Cowade 19.
Liz Hampton, a spokeswoman for the Mackenzie Buckle Series Club, said entries for the second of four planned competition days would open on Saturday.
The drizzle at Johnson’s Arena, Fairley, on the first day of the series earlier this month did not stop the good crowds, nor the complete absence of livestock.
Each event, which usually involved cattle, was held with “roping machines” – also called mechanical steers or dummies.
They look like real calves and cattle but are pulled with a 4×4, quad bike or all-terrain vehicle.
Hampton said organizers believe they are the first series to offer only a variety of mechanical cattle.
She said she knows about others, such as those in North Canterbury and Wanaka, who only use machine roping but only present one event.
He said he wanted to show that this could be done without cattle.
The Buckle series is a small club-run event run, separate from the official radio circuit, on competition days.
They differ from jackpot days in the way the prize pool is formed, and Hampton notes that their series also has more spot prizes than traditional jackpots, which are usually monetized by the winners. There is a pool.
The buckle, Hampton said, refers to metal belt boxes that are given as prizes, “the equivalent of a trophy for a rodeo.”
The Mackenzie series’ own boxes are custom-made and riders who collect maximum points by placing them in any or all of the four events will take them home at the end of the series.
“The best chance is to compete in each one.”
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With the first day set for August 1, the others in the series are in Fairley on September 5 and Winchester on October 3 and November 7.
Hampton said that two weeks after the second event, she hopes it will not be affected by any ongoing quake lockdown.
The organizers have discussed the events and if the lockdown is at a level of two or less, the day will go by, even though there are only competitors and no spectators.
“If the lockdown level is high, we will cancel and possibly consider running another one at the end of the series.”
Hampton said he was really pleased with the number of entries for the opening day, with more than 25 adults and a dozen children registered.
“We are expecting at least the same number of entries for the September event, if not more.
“Since we had a lot of people before, they say they apologized for losing it, and were definitely going in.
“We had a ‘go go’ day at the beginning of the month and got a great response,” he said.
Club president Katie Scarlett said the Mackenzie event was needed.
“Right now there’s a strong series in Wanaka and a strong series in Canterbury, with a five-hour break in between,” Scarlett said.
Several jackpot events have taken place outside Christchurch and one is being held in Wyankarwa, covering South Canterbury and North Otago, but “this is the first series to be held exclusively in the Mackenzie area.”
He said the organizers were excited about the turnout in the first election of the series, “there were twice as many entries as we expected, and the support was blown away.”
Scarlett said she has had a lot of people come to her since then and ask where they can train.
He said this would not have been possible without the extraordinary help received from “contractors, farmers, businesses” who donated money and prizes to rivals as well as other fundraising efforts.
He said that all these incidents are about horse riding, and it can take many years of training to bring a horse to a proper standard.
Scarlett said each event is performed to help first-timers, and riders indicate how fast they want to pull the roping machine, which helps attract more newcomers. ۔
The day includes five events divided into age and some gender categories.
Barrel racing, pole turning, machine team roping and breakway roping events are open in all divisions, while Stair In Decorating was open only to women aged 16 and over. Machine team reception was open to adults only.
Barrel Racing – Horse racing in the Cloverleaf pattern – open only to women at New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association (NZRCA) events (as well as boys and girls under 15), but only to men at Buckle There were also women’s categories as junior (9-16 years) and urine (8 years and under).
Hampton said barrel racing is one of the biggest events on the NZRCA circuit.
“The whole thing is really about trust between the rider and the horse. If you don’t trust the animals, speed alone won’t help.
Pole turning – a one-time event in which the rider makes a course between six poles – also included the urine, junior and adult categories.
Stair In Decorating is another women’s radio event. It has not been introduced to the NZRCA circuit, and Hampton has interpreted it in the Rippa Rugby style, in which the rider lines up near the moving mechanical steer, grabs the flag attached to their backs and lifts it above his head. Is.
Hampton says the breakway roping category is also relatively new to New Zealand, but is gaining popularity.
Breakway racing usually involves riding cattle with a rope that is only attached to the saddle with a piece of cotton stem, so when the rope is stretched, the cotton breaks, reducing the pressure on the animal.
However, in the case of the Mackenzie series, there will be no pressure on cattle, as only cattle are of the mechanical type.
The team roping event is open to any age group, and consists of a header (whose job is to rope the calf’s head), and a ‘heller’, (which ties the animal’s hind legs). In Fairley, though, competitors were making a mechanical steer rope, with a hind legs that move to mimic a real animal.
Hampton said he wants to minimize the pressure on cattle, while still respecting Rodeo’s skills.
Scarlett said he would stay with the machine roping, and had no plans to use the cattle for the Buckle series in the future.
Scarlett imported the machines from Brazil, and said that Brazilian machines and equipment were much less expensive than those obtained elsewhere.
He said it has made the purchase of a rope machine more realistic, and many local clubs are taking advantage of the opportunity to buy one, even though there are many homemade dummies around.
Scarlett has been involved in rodeo for almost nine years, working at a cattle station in the North.
Since then, she has lived, worked and trained with top racers in the United States and Canada.
Hampton only started appearing in radio in 2020. She said it could be a little scary, although once she got involved, she found Rodio Locke open and welcoming.
Hampton said this is one of the reasons the club hosted the ‘Hue a Go’ event, and because participants in the series can use Western or English riding gear.
“So if they like it, they can invest in gear, but they don’t need the right way to get started.”
Hampton estimates that more than half of the competitors were new to Rodeo.
Contrary to popular belief, Rodeo may end up saying, “It’s growing. More and more people are joining it.”