The bucking broncs and bulls will be absent from the Mid Northern Jackpot but there will be plenty of excitement with barrel racing and team roping events.

It was announced last November the 2020 Mid Northern Rodeo, which has taken place every year in Whangārei since the 1960s, would be cancelled due to alleged financial constraints.

Animal rights organisation Safe - Save Animals From Exploitation - was claiming it as a victory for animal rights protesters.

While the two-day event — starting at 1pm tomorrow and 9am on Sunday — would be light on events compared to previous years, one of the event organisers Gemma Oliver said the public were welcome to watch the fast-paced barrel racing and the skilful team ropers.


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Entries in both events were looking good, with part of the entry fee going to the Mid Northern Rodeo fundraiser and the rest being put up for "Jackpot" prize money during the competition.

"It's not an official rodeo but it's still a competition that the public are welcome to come and watch," Oliver said.

She said a number of local businesses had sponsored prizes that would be raffled and auctioned off during the event at the grounds on Kokopu Block Rd.

Previously Mid Northern Rodeo Association secretary Barbara Woolhouse said the rodeo would return in the expanded form of a festival in 2021, including more food options and children's entertainment like bouncy castles.

She said competition from other events and competition for sponsorship dollars - along with Safe targeting financial supporters - were behind the cancellation of the regular rodeo event this summer.

She said sponsors had faced a targeted harassment campaign with some receiving 100 phone calls in a day from people opposed to their involvement with rodeo.

Woolhouse said she supported the right of anyone to protest. "They just need to do it in a way that's not so personal."