Crowd of 6000 expected

Methven Rodeo 2023.
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About 6000 spectators are expected in Methven on Saturday as the town ropes in the premier National Rodeo Finals.

It will be the first time the nationals have been held in the ski and farming town for more than three decades. The last was in 1990.

Methven Rodeo Club spokesperson Gemma Oliver said she and fellow committee members were excited leading into the event, particularly in light of huge interest and support from the community.

“It is a big event to plan for, with several events all rolled into one weekend, so there are numerous moving parts,’’ Oliver said.

‘‘We are really lucky to have such a strong and hard-working committee to plan this event.”

The finals are held every year at different locations around the country. Every rodeo club in New Zealand, along with competitors, are members of the New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association (NZRCA).

There are more than 30 rodeo clubs and each year the clubs can apply to the NZRCA board to host the finals.

Methven was accepted as the host for the 2024 finals 18 months ago, and the committee have been diligently planning and preparing ever since.

Sponsored by R&R Precision Spreading, the finals are also backed by Mid Canterbury businesses and community organisations which will be involved on the weekend, such as the Methven Lions and school fundraising committees.

The October Methven Rodeo normally attracts more than 6000 spectators. A similar number is expected for the finals.

About 70 competitors are expected across classes including bareback, break away, rope and tie, saddle bronc, barrel racing, steer wrestling, team roping and bull ride. There will be two rounds of competition starting at 11am, with more than $40,000 of prizemoney up for grabs for the weekend.

* National Rodeo Finals 2024 will be at the Methven A & P showgrounds March 23, 11am to 6pm. Tickets, at, are $20 for adults and $10 for children under 16, or $50 for a family pass for up to two adults and three children.