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Gallagher Lassoes Rodeo Sponsorship

December 15, 2004

Gallagher Lassoes Rodeo Sponsorship

A purpose built, international standard rodeo arena in Huntly will provide a permanent base for Waikato cowboys and other horse related clubs and associations.

The Gallagher Rodeo Arena, completed earlier this month, is the dream of Fraser Graham - a long time rodeo-goer and horse enthusiast.

Graham says over the past few years North Waikato rodeos have proved popular, but they were always run in portable arenas hired from the Cowboy Association of New Zealand.

"I wanted to see a permanent facility where we could foster rodeo and other horse disciplines."

Animal management leader the Gallagher Group is the arena's major sponsor. Company director John Gallagher says the sponsorship made sense because of the company's work within the equine industry.

"Although we are not so well known in New Zealand in relation to the horse industry, we have a lot of business in that area in Europe."

The Gallagher family also has a long history with the Graham family. With Fraser Graham's father and the late William Gallagher - original founder of the Gallagher Group - being old farming mates.

"My brother Bill and I have known Fraser since we were children, so it's a pleasure to be able to support him in this venture," John Gallagher says.

"Many of the farmers Gallaghers serves are involved with or follow the rodeo, so it's also a chance to put something back into the community that supports us."

As part of the sponsorship arrangement, the Gallagher Group provided the majority of the gates, fencing and hardware for the rodeo arena under their Franklin Gate Hardware brand.

Built to international standards the arena is 80m long and 40m wide with rounded ends so animals will never be trapped in a corner. It has a large number of yards to handle the livestock.

The local cutting, quarter horse and pony clubs have shown interest in using the facility. It could also be used for sport horse activities and more traditional jumping and dressage events, Graham says.

"In the future we hope to run clinics for young people showing an interest in rodeo. It's a great sport for those who want an adventurous activity."

Graham also hopes the national rodeo finals will one day be held at the Gallagher Rodeo Arena.

The inaugural event in the Gallagher Rodeo Arena will be staged on Sunday, January 23. Spectators are welcome to attend the North Waikato Rodeo. Entry is $12 for adults and $6 for school children.

ENDS

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