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Fundraiser to help realise rodeo dream


April riding lulu-178A boot-skootin’ fundraiser with a difference will be held at Mangawhai Tavern this Friday night.

Dress in your best cowboy or cowgirl outfit to win crazy prizes, enjoy the music, games and wrestle the mechanical bull while helping raise funds for a 12-year-old local lass and rodeo star April Fletcher. 

April is a passionate horse rider and barrel racer. A member of the Northern Districts Team Roping Club based at Paparoa, she has been competing since she was 9 years old.

Last season April finished 9th in the national barrel racing standings with Rodeo NZ only competing in North Island events on her pony Lulu. Her ability did not go unnoticed as she was also invited to compete in an international teams competition held at Gympie in Brisbane, the biggest event on the Australian National Rodeo Association calendar. The result? Second place and only .006 of a second behind the winner and on a pony she had never seen before.

“It is my dream and my goal this coming season to get more experience to compete at more rodeos and to make it into the top five in New Zealand,” April says, but knows it is a costly exercise with travel, entry fees, accommodation, and horse care all presenting a challenge to a 12-year-old. 

April acknowledges the amazing support of Mangawhai horseman Steve Allan who transports her around the country and shares his horses, her enthusiasm and praises her work ethic.

“I work really hard,” she adds “and I'm hoping locals will be a part of my fundraising and help me achieve my dream.” 

 Cowgirls & Cowboys Fundraiser, Mangawhai Tavern, Friday October 11, 5-9pm. Dress up and come with a whoop and a holler!

April Fletcher is a passionate horse rider and barrel racer. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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