Rodeo raises £14,000 for charity

James Porteous

Large crowds gathered at Garscube last weekend to attend the University of Glasgow’s largest annual fundraising event, the Vet Rodeo.

Now in its 49th year, the Rodeo plays host to numerous attractions for children and adults alike, with all profits from the event being given to nominated charities.

This year, money was being raised for a number of organisations, including the Scottish SPCA, Boxer Welfare Scotland, and Riding for the Disabled. In addition to these charities, money was also being directed to the new Small Animal Hospital at the Garscube Estate, which has been under construction since late 2007. The state-of-the-art hospital is scheduled to open later this year.

Visitors were able to enjoy a number of stalls, displays and competitions across the Rodeo site. Younger guests made the most of the funfair, face painting and bouncy castles, while dog owners were given the chance to test their pet’s obedience and agility on a tricky assault course.

Of course, certain attractions proved popular with visitors of all ages – ferret racing in particular drew a formidable crowd around the plastic pipe racetrack.

The main arena hosted the majority of the key events during the day. Early in the afternoon, Husky teams gave a demonstration of sled and scooter pulling, with the dogs romping around the arena, handlers in tow.

Later, large numbers of visitors gathered for a falconry display, where crowds watched as small falcons dived into the arena over their heads, and several members of the audience were invited in to hold large vultures.
Rachael Forgie and Susanna Spence, heads of this year’s Rodeo, explained how they felt the event was going.

Forgie told Guardian: “We think it’s going pretty well, there seems to be a good turnout. We’ve had a few mishaps with the riding arena, and things pulling out last minute, but it doesn’t seem to have affected anything, and the weather’s been good, so pretty good!”

Spence also gave her thoughts on the best attractions at the rodeo itself, touting an unusual form of carpentry as a hidden gem at the event.

She said: “We’ve got a chainsaw carver at the top of the campus, and he’s so good, he makes these amazing sculptures.”

Last year, the event got off to a damp start, with miserable weather on the morning of the Rodeo affecting the money raised for charities.

Talking to Guardian after the show, Spence spoke positively about the funds raised by the 2009 event.

She said: “This year’s Rodeo was a great success, bringing in over £14,000 on the day. We are hoping to give our selected charities £3,500 each.

Organising the Rodeo takes a lot of hard work, but when the time comes to hand over cheques to very worthy charities, you know it is all worth it.”


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