Stomped young rider back in the saddle

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine of The Daily Post -
James Tauariki at the Rerewhakaaitu Rodeo. Photo / Stephen Parker
James Tauariki at the Rerewhakaaitu Rodeo. Photo / Stephen Parker

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

That's just one of a number of age-old sayings which might suit rider James Tauariki.

James, 10, was stretchered from the Taupo Rodeo arena on Saturday after being bucked off his calf and stomped on.

After almost being knocked unconscious, the youngster turned up to the Rerewhakaaitu Rodeo on Sunday ready to compete again in the same event. "It's a family sport, everyone does it," he said. "I came off the front [of the calf] and got smoked. It's the worst fall I've had. But I'm competing today."

He said it could have been worse and he was not nervous about getting back in the saddle.

"Nah, I never get nervous," he said.

His father, Tama Tauariki, said golf was his son's best sport and he did rodeo for a different reason.

"This is just to harden him up," he said with a laugh. "He's a bit soft, too much golf, bro."

Mr Tauariki said he had four children and three grandchildren who all enjoyed the rodeo, learning mainly on their farm in Ngakuru.

"When we have stock they get a bit of a ride but there are more golf balls on the farm than anything else at the moment."

Mr Tauariki also competed at the rodeo, in the high-profile roping competitions.

Late in the day, a 24-year-old man was taken to hospital after falling from the bull he was riding. The bull stomped on the man's lower abdomen and he was taken to hospital to check for any damage, St John Ambulance Rotorua operations team manager Darryl Stretch said.

The annual rodeo circuit will take riders such as the Tauariki family up to Warkworth Rodeo on Tuesday and the Far North Rodeo on Wednesday.

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