Santo hosting rodeo again this year
A rodeo event involves a wide range of activities that include shows, demonstrations, fun games for kids and adults as well as serious wild animal riding competitions.
For the tough ones who wish to get a rush of adrenalin, wild animal riding is an event that presents opportunities for farmers and cowboys to test their skills in animal handling and the desire to conquer the strength of untamed beasts who, once become vanquished, render their rider winner of the competition
Although the most popular activity in a rodeo is the bull riding it is never recommended for the faint-hearted as it could also be dangerous for those who have never handled wild animals.
Incidentally the rule of the game is quite simple, just a tough custom- made rope fitted around the animal’s chest straps a man’s hand and left to his own devise on the back of a wild, leaping twirling and more often explosive tonnage of raw animal power. And the longer he lasts on the animal’s back makes him winner.
Noting the cowboy never knows what the animal beneath him is going to do next, he must draw upon his sharpest mental and physical abilities when trying to conquer this twisting tornado. To keep his position and balance, a bull rider is constantly grabbing for new holds with his feet and continually pulling up on the rope with one hand while the other is held aloof. The more powerful a bull bucks and the faster he spins the more points the ride is worth.
This in a nutshell is a simple description of the event that has restarted in Santo after many years of inactivity since the early to late 1970s.
Rodeo is not new to Santo’s Farming community and many like Mr Kevin Henderson, chairman of the current Rodeo Committee was involved in that sport when he was younger.
In his days Kevin reminisces, “We don’t even think about it, we just went ahead and did it.”
A recent addition to that experience is Mr Kuvu Noel a businessman and one of the current major sponsors who represented Vanuatu at the Koumac rodeo in 2005. Last year’s Rodeo produced three riders (Rodeomen) from Santo who also featured at the Koumac Rodeo in Noumea and we expect to see more in 2012.
Accordingly the major objectives of the Committee is one, to promote Santo’s position as the biggest Island in Vanuatu with possibly the biggest agriculture resource in terms of food, livestock and other resources including of course the aquatic and the marine resources.
The thrust of rodeo show which will continue to be held on the outskirts of Luganville in Leeman’s Plantation near the Chapuis stadium, is to entice farmers and traders of agricultural goods and services to convene for fun, raise community awareness, exchange products and ideas and of course showcase the best of Sanma Province’s Agricultural produce and products for prospecting business in Luganville for Vanuatu.
This Rodeo also marks the celebration of achievements in both Agriculture and business developments and the importance of Santo’s position in the overall Vanuatu economy 30 years after Vanuatu gained its independence.
The Santo Rodeo Committee wishes to acknowledge all the companies, businesses and individuals who have contributed in one way or another to make 2011 event come into fruition.
The Committee’s sincere gratitude also goes out to all the farmers both in SANMA and other provinces whose effort have helped to keep us all in business in this beautiful country. We acknowledge that all businesses whether big or small do have a corporate obligation to the community in which they operate and we will not wait for the Government of Vanuatu to propose such an event to realize and recognize that we are all important to each other as our social interaction makes us the people we are…Ni Vanuatu.
The Santo Rodeo committee was gratefully honored to have the presence of their rodeo friends from La Foa in New Caledonia in 2011. This year’s event will have an even bigger crowd coming from New Caledonia as the committee envisages there will be a full Air Vanuatu flight Tontouta direct to Luganville. The good intention of the Santo Rodeo Committee is to prove to the people of SANMA Province and investors in Sanma Province that when they put their heads together for a good cause they can produce wonderful results for the people, the community, the province in which we live and work and the country at large.
One kind request from the Chairman since the first 2011 show states, “to all the farmers of Sanma Province and the wonderful people of Luganville this is your show, please own it and protect it. We want good things to happen over and over again for the good of our community.”
With due diligence the committee wishes to acknowledge in particular a lone sponsor in the person of Mr Yannick Milne, a shrewd farmer from Port Vila who took the initiative to drop a cheque of an undisclosed sum without even being asked to do so in 2011. Mr Milne whose contribution to the Santo business community involves purchase of live cattle to restock in Port Vila has many friends of like mind.
Therefore, like Yannick Milne’s many other colleagues in Port Vila and Santo who would rather do their thing quietly, the committee looks to the same caliber with serious intentions to step forward for the 2012 Rodeo to impact the social change Vanuatu needs to see from its good citizens and investors.
A passion to drive Vanuatu’s economy forward through investment and promotion of the future social capital this country needs for sound development.