Record numbers of spectators were treated to an entertaining day when the Ann Hone Memorial Rodeo was held in Armidale on November 19.
Named after former secretary and one of the Armidale Four Seasons Rodeo Association’s founding members Ann Hone, this year’s event took on a special meaning.
The rodeo was hailed a success with crowds and competitors travelling from all over the state and across the border to be a part of the rodeo and witness the thrills and spills on offer in the open and novice bull ride, saddle broncs, bareback, rope and tie, steer wrestling, team roping, senior and junior breakaway, barrel races, steer rides and the steer undecorating.
The Association’s publicity officer Jane Walsh said people were thrilled with the day’s entertainment.
"I had one local lady, there might have been a few more that did the same, who came and said 'I didn't realise the rodeo this year was the Ann Hone Memorial Rodeo,’” she said.
“’When I found out I said to my husband that we have to go.'”
"She said it was a great rodeo and they really enjoyed it.
"The numbers were way up, it was a really good rodeo.
"Armidale had a lot on that weekend and despite that we had a really good turnout.”
The Association hope the success of this year’s rodeo can carry through to next year.
Walsh said the committee need people to put their hand up and be part of it in order for it to continue running each year.
"If we can round up committee members, that is what it hangs on, people willing to donate their time,” she said.
"You can't have a rodeo without committee members and without people willing to help and we really struggle with that.
"If we have all of that there is not an issue.
"Some people have been doing it for years.”
Meanwhile, the Gill Brothers will be on the road from the New England to south-west Sydney for the Leppington Xtreme Bulls event at the Lockies Hotel Grounds on Saturday night.
Malcolm and Eddie Gill hail from Upper Horton in the New England area of New South Wales and travel around the nation with their bucking stock.
Bull riding is all about thrills and spills and this year the bulls have had the better of the riders at most bull rides. Eight seconds is a long time on the back of a bucking bull.
The bull ride has some of the highest prize money available on the Australian Professional Rodeo Association circuit and has drawn 21 nominations.
With riders set to travel from across the eastern seaboard, the extra prize money boosts numbers and the quality of the riders.