Rodeo Kaupoai

With more bucks than the Reserve Bank, the second series of RODEO KAUPOAI premieres on Maori Television on Thursday July 5 at 9.30 PM.

The popular series continues to follow the fortunes of rodeo families from New Zealand’s East Coast as they compete on the arduous rodeo circuit. It’s not only a way of life for these competitors, for many it’s in their blood. Several generations of some families are represented on the circuit and these youngsters began learning their stock skills almost before they could walk.

RODEO KAUPOAI takes you behind-the-scenes of the sometimes mysterious world of the cowboys and cowgirls – the stresses and tensions of life on the road, the nerves before a big competition and the emotional aftermath.

From Oruru Valley to Rerewhakaaitu, from Waikato to the finals at Southland’s Millar’s Flat, the action is non-stop – and each rodeo has its share of white knuckle moments. The cowboys take their lives in their hands with steer wrestling and bull riding, especially if they strike ‘rank stock’ – animals that are notoriously bad tempered.

Meet the men and women of the Church whanau as they head into another tough season. The Church name is synonymous with rodeo in Australasia and this family are at the top of their game, often competing against each other for prize money.

Dion is the eldest child of the Church clan and is struggling to regain his winning form after a shoulder injury last season. Daryl Church is a tough cowboy who specialises in bareback and bull riding. He’s been known to rodeo with broken ribs and fingers, beating out his older brother Clarry at the national finals last year and snatching the overall title for himself.

Serena Taylor impresses too with her precision riding and incredible sense of timing necessary to compete at the highest level of barrel racing. Last season, tiny Ariana Halley was just five years old. Is she still keen to keep trying, despite falling off more times than she finishes?

And we meet the ‘rock star’ of this series. Frasier Babbington has successfully made the transition from show jumper to rodeo rider. He’s only been on the circuit for three years but he’s proven to be a natural, establishing himself as one of the top bull riders on the circuit. How do the established stars stack up against his talent, drive and pure grit?

Join Maori Television for the ride of your life – if you dare – when RODEO KAUPOAI premieres on Thursday July 5 at 9.30 PM.