As one of the Wagin’s most anticipated events, the Woolarama Rodeo is due to make its return in 2021 – bringing with it a fresh set of hands to run the program – Jay Ward.
Like many locals working behind the scenes to put the event together, Jay found himself somewhat stumbling into his role as Rodeo Head Steward.
“When I was asked if I was interested in taking up a position for the Woolorama, I never really got to say yes, nor did I ever say no.”
“It became too late to think about my answer – because by that stage I was already doing it!”
Jay believes it was beneficial to simply jump into the role rather than to dwell on the situation.
“Working on a farm, time can be stretched pretty thin as is. Let alone the fact that this year we are facing exceptional circumstances as we try and navigate event management through COVID-19.”
“While it is not the easiest year to get dropped into it, my partner made a good point in saying that if I can do it this year, I can do it any year!”
Despite the challenges – Jay has big goals he hopes to achieve as the Rodeo Steward in years to come, starting from the ground up.
“A major aim of mine is improving the actual area of the rodeo. The grounds – I feel when they first did the rodeo – were well thought out, but had to be done so rapidly.”
“Now that we have seen how successful the rodeo can be, and we can reflect – I think that there could be potential to make the arena bigger and better.”
He added, “The ability to have a standard size arena and to set records would be awesome for Wagin.”
The rodeo arena is already showing its capacity to be used more frequently year-round, with events and performances such as Tom Curtain gracing the grounds with incredible horse training, dog demonstrations and live music.
Jay will be instrumental in embracing these new opportunities and his enthusiasm to do so will see great benefits for Wagin.
But with less than a month until the Woolorama, for now, Jay’s focus falls on preparing the rodeo grounds for a host of events; including junior bull riding, senior bull riding, barrel racing, roping, bronc riding and much more.
Asked what he believes makes the rodeo so popular among many, he replied –
“The atmosphere and the risk.”
“There is just something about witnessing the thrill of the moment take place right in front of you – and you can just see that it takes a great deal of skill and talent to pull off.”
The Wagin Woolorama Rodeo will be taking place on Saturday, 6th March.
Written by Ashleigh Baxter