HEAVY rain overnight on Australia Day threatened to disrupt the annual Taralga Rodeo but organisers were able to undertake some surface maintenance and reschedule a couple of events enabling the day night event to go ahead.
Perhaps the heavier surface could have been seen as a blessing, particularly for the hundreds of photographers who normally have to cover their equipment to protect it from the fine dust that is normally the arena surface.
The main rodeo, which started about an hour late, kicked off with the man versus bike versus horse, a novelty event in which the bikes break down on the first heat.
This was followed by some barrel racing then a performance by the trick riding troupe Girls, Girls, Girls.
Unfortunately for the hundreds of serious photographers vying for the valuable prizes on offer at the Taralga Show photography section, the open rough riding events did not get underway until fairly late in the afternoon.
The program had been delayed when one of the two novice bareback riders had the horse he was riding roll on him.
The program had to be delayed until a second ambulance could be brought out from Goulburn to free up the treating paramedic a normal safety procedure for this type of event.
There was still plenty of other action for the avid shutterbugs to photograph however.
The largest contingent of competitors was in the barrel racing with juniors from under 11, right up to the open women who pushed their horses around the obstacles at amazing speed. In all there were 108 nominations for the barrel racing.
There were plenty of timed event competitors and in most of these the audience got to see some past and present national champions attempt to demonstrate the skills that gave them their titles sometimes with success other times a turn of fate or an uncooperative steer or calf left the competitors without points.
Competitors in this early round of the season were still keen to pick up points toward their annual totals to help them qualify for the annual national event in Tamworth in January.
The National Championships was also the reason some of the competitors who would often include Taralga on their program were not there. These men and women had decided not to make the rushed trip back from Tamworth after competing in the finals. There were some, however, who travelled overnight to be in Taralga to compete.
For some spectators the long program and unavoidable delays meant that it was time to leave before the open events got underway, so they missed a large portion of the spectacular performances by Australia’s more experienced competitors under lights.
They also missed the country music entertainment on the truck top stage that continued until early on Monday morning in front of the canteen area.