Rupununi Rodeo improving with time

DPI, GUYANA, Monday, April 02, 2018

“There is no other place in the world that has activities like these, there are places in Brazil but this is unique. It’s good work, keep it going and in a few years, this is going to be the best Rodeo event in all of South America.”

A section of the large gathering at the Rupununi Rodeo.

This is the view of Alessio Bariviera, a first-time visitor to Guyana, and part of the large influx of foreigners who travel to the savannah region annually to witness the much anticipated Rupununi Ranchers’ Rodeo.

Bariviera, who resides in Italy and is here to film a documentary, initially had his first experience of the much talked about Rodeo. Barely containing his excitement with the various enthralling competitions, Bariviera described the event as “breathtaking” and expressed his intention of returning to witness the rodeo in the future.

The annual Rupununi Rodeo which began on Saturday, at Lethem in the Upper Takatu/Upper Essequibo (Region Nine), was a memorable experience for the scores of visitors who flocked the border town.

This popular attraction of the calendar of events for Rupununi residents has been growing over the years.

Joan Bell Kenyan, a Rupununi resident, has been attending the Rodeo for several years and has seen significant improvements, especially with the new additions which cater for children.

“The rodeo has been improving every year especially since 2016 when new committee members took over. Now we have side attractions like calf riding for children, barrel race for children under twelve, dances, watermelon eating competition,” Kenyan explained.

Veteran rider, Odo Peters.

Enoch Davis, who hails from North Rupununi, also shared similar sentiments noted that with each passing year the rodeo has improved, thus attracting larger crowds.

“Years I’m coming and when I came the first time it wasn’t like this but now it’s better. There is a pavilion and maybe next year it might even be better. I’m also seeing people enjoying the event more too.” Davis said.

Adding to the atmosphere was the aroma from an array of mouth-watering delicacies such as beef, pork and chicken kebabs, popcorn, hot-dogs and other delicious foods.

However, the crowing events were the thrilling performances in the arena, including barrel race, late for the roundup, beer running, cow milking, calf and sheep roping, bareback bronco (horse riding), bull riding, and line dancing among others.

Several of the participants have been competing for some time and use each passing year to improve their performances.

Veteran rider, Odo Peters has been working assiduously to improve his performance in bareback bronco (riding). Peters said the competitions have become more challenging over the years, but he is determined to deliver his best.

“Since eleven years old I was a cowboy and since this Rodeo open, I was the youngest rider in those times. Today I am still carrying on. I’m a three-time champion in Berbice and Lethem, Brazil one time, Venezuela two times and Trinidad and Tobago one time. I’m the one man warrior and it’s not an easy thing to go through, “he explained.

Marlene Isaacs, one of the female contestants in the bareback bronco, said she participates in this particular competition since it is not risky as the others. However, she is aiming to broaden her horizon.

“Last year I was scared but I have improved and it’s getting better every year. I’m hoping that next year that I can be brave and participate in other events. That will be good for me.”

Those successful in the various competitions were awarded cash prizes for their efforts.

Scenes from the rodeo.

Scenes from the rodeo.

 

Scenes from the rodeo.

Scenes from the rodeo.

 

Scenes from the rodeo.

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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