We have had a busy few weeks of medical appointments and lots of hospital visits for testing with our son, so I’ve been a little slack on the blogging front. But I didn’t want to bypass a quick entry on the Yass Show and Rodeo. My husband’s brother’s family came up for the weekend. My husband and I were looking forward to their visit and it didn’t disappoint (my husband and his brother are two peas in a pod and my sister-in-law is just awesome). They have two young boys and we thought that the weekend with the show and rodeo would be the perfect weekend for them to come and see where we were now living. The show wasn’t as quaint as the Gunning Show (which is exactly as you would picture a small rural town show – I loved it!). The Yass Show had all the lovely craft and cooking of a good, rural, country show and without the pomp and polish of the Sydney Royal. But it also had quite a lot of rides and show bag stalls for the tweens and teens. But of course, what I really liked were the sheep dog trials, team penning and rodeo.
Team penning is by far my favourite. It is a competition that has evolved from what cattle farmers naturally do as a part of their job. Talented horse riders work in teams of three to separate three identified cattle (In this case by the colour or ribbon around their necks. The officials pulled a colour out of a bucket and that’s the colour that the team must separate.) from a herd of 30. After separating the three cattle they need to direct them into a pen. All this needs to be done in under 60 or 90 seconds. And of course, the quicker you do it the better. But lets not forget that it’s not easy to herd cattle in under a minute, so many teams don’t actually manage to separate their identified cattle into the pen within the time frame. So as I said, these horse riders are talented. It is fast paced and fascinating to watch. The skill at which they control their horses is phenomenal and of course their is always a little bit of luck (or bad luck) involved when working with animals that have a mind of their own!
Like team penning, sheep dog trials have evolved from the everyday work that many farmers do. Farmers direct their dog (and in Australia it’s usually a kelpie) to herd the sheep through a variety of elements. These elements could be through gates, across yards, into pens, through confined spaces or even separating a single identified sheep from the group. Each element is given a point score and the event is also timed. Although you don’t win any points for a fast time, you lose points if you don’t complete the event in the given time.
Everybody knows what a rodeo is! Unfortunately we didn’t get to watch the entire event as the children couldn’t hold out. However, even the initial rounds of the buckjumping were impressive. The children loved the rodeo clown who provided some amusing entertainment between divisions.
If you are ever near Yass around the Show and Rodeo time, it’s well worth the visit. Don’t forget to check out the horse events either – you wouldn’t want to miss the cuties like this little girl!