Cowgirls and cowboys from throughout the country were in the South recently competing at the 61st annual Southland Rodeo.

In the first of three rodeos over 10 days, New Zealand Rodeo Cowboy Association members took on the stop watch at Otatara on Saturday, February 3.

Wade Marshall, of Taramoa, did the best out of the local competitors, winning the open bull ride jointly with Paddy Church with a score of 76.

Competitors then headed north for the Outram Rodeo on Waitangi Day, before returning south in preparation for the Mataura Rodeo on Saturday.