The legendary Church rodeo family took three top trophies at the Waimarino Rodeo last weekend - but five local riders got placings on both the main days.

Rodeo association secretary Cathy MacLean said it was a brilliant event.

The weather was good, the ground surface excellent and everything ran smoothly.

It started at the Raetihi Showgrounds on Friday night, with events for local riders. Harry Rowe won the calf ride, Simon Katene won the steer event and Emma Haitana won the barrel racing.

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Riders from all over New Zealand and Australia competed on Saturday and Sunday. They were mainly interested in stacking up points ahead of next year's season, but there were also four cups given out.

Daryl Church won the Wiggins Memorial Trophy for rough stock riding and Leeroy Church won the Windle Memorial Trophy for youth steer riding. The Brown Memorial Cup went to Cory Church and the Baldwin Cup to Teina Wineera.

While out-of-town riders dominated, five local people won placings alongside them on both days. Two of the locals, Cam Wenn and Matt West, were in the top eight at the New Zealand nationals in Outram earlier this month. The others were Ben Webb, Emma Haitana and Samara Windle.

Despite thousands signing a national petition to ban rodeo there was no sign of any protest at Raetihi. All the movements were monitored by an SPCA member, and Mrs MacLean said he was impressed by stock handling processes.

"We are improving with each rodeo."

Next year's Waimarino Rodeo will be bigger and better, she said, because it will precede nationals at Wairoa and competition should be fierce.