Review: Taralga Rodeo

By lukeo at 8:22 am on Monday, January 29, 2007

The mission:  Recapture the magic of Canowindra Rodeo
The event:  Taralga Rodeo
The team: Kaydo, Lukeo, Megan and Baz the wombat 

Recapture we did. Forget the Bungendore city hybrid rodeo, Taralga was the real McCoy.
We set off from Canberra, a quick stop at the big Marino for a photo and it was time to get through Goulburn and on to Taralga.  Now Goulburn you could say is not the best sign posted city in NSW, so our approach was to drive down every street until we found the right one.  So with a quick Goulburn detour (surprisingly enough, we did not take the correct streets the first time!), we found the Hwy and in the words fitting for the time, we were on the road again.   

The most amazing thing as you drive into Taralga is that you can’t see the town.  On a fairly sketchy highway, a 50 speed limit sign appears, you go over the crest of a mound (the term ‘hill’ would have been an exaggeration) and you are there. 

The rodeo had everything you expect…. Cowboys on horses , 95:1 cowboy hat ratio and lots and lots of dust!
We held a very good position right near the place where all the cowboys gather before they mount up – I will call it the departure lounge for now and we managed to see some novice horse and bull riding, before a man/bike/horse race (which I won’t even try to explain) and then the big one – the OPEN rodeo.  This is where the real cowboys ride.  They all generate lots and lots of dust that’s for sure, even the novice riders. 

Now, the departure lounge was a good base camp, but I wanted to get some good photos from the front.  I found a spot right in front of the gates on the fence where if needed is used for horse support or ambulance entry.  Another word for this spot is ‘Poll Position’.  The thing I  knew but forgot about was that when an angry horse is released, it runs straight, as fast as it can and doesn’t stop for anything including a fence.  So you could imagine my surprise when I was clicking away with my camera and thought, Jesus that horse is getting close.  As a bloke next to me starts yelling at me and two other blokes “back, back, back”, I realised there was merit in moving back from the gate.  Just in time, as the horse tried to go through the fence.  It was a close one.  My only regret was that in fear, I put the camera down – would have been a great photo!!!  There was also lots of dust in that spot to, and my camera looked like I had tried my hand at camouflage. 

After a few other scares of similar ratio, I decided that I had pushed my luck long enough and returned to the departure lounge to catch up with the girls.  On my return I learnt that a bee had tried to get down Kates shirt and gave her a lasting memory of the event.  Luckily she was not allergic, and back to the fun. 

Grabbed some grub at real country prices, stopped past the mechanical bull, enjoyed some more dust and then back off home. 

On the whole, a great day, two dusty thumbs up.  Photos coming soon.

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