Judah Kenyon has emerged King of the just concluded 2016 Rupununi Rodeo when the curtain came down on an eventful two days of action Sunday evening at the Rupununi Ranchers Rodeo Ground in Lethem, Region Nine 9 (Upper TAKATU/Upper Essequibo).
King Kenyon grabbed the most coveted crown after carting off four of the evening top prizes up for grabs.
Among the other winners were Point Ranches Bull Riding champion Eon Jacobus, Bareback Bronco Corine Peters, Wild Cow Milking Paul St Hill, Steer Roping Nicodemas from Dadanawa Ranch, Calf Roping Odis Peters, Best Dressed male Vaqueros Antonio Andrews and Best dressed female Vaqueros Alice Atkinson.
The events which for the most part were held under floodlights saw the thousands in attendance given their money’s worth with the chills and thrills organisers had promised as they took fans on the “The Wild Side.”
The two days of activities began immediately following a spectacle through the streets of Lethem when vaqueros were all decked out in their cowboy and cowgirl attire carrying flags, with Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Sydney Allicock leading the parade and proudly displaying a flag with Guyana’s 50th Anniversary Logo.
The ride begun at the Lethem Airstrip and concluded at the Rodeo Ground.
Meanwhile, job creation, participation in activities that boosts economic development and recognising the unwavering commitment by ranchers and vaquero’s alike were the sentiments expressed by Minister Allicock when he declared the event opened Saturday afternoon.
He added that his ministry is committed to working with organisers to ensure the annual activity continues to be a success story, and was inspired and has pledged a personal donation of $100,000 towards the hosting the 2017 Rodeo activities.
Minister Allicock also handed over a cheque to the Rupununi Livestock Producers Association (RLPA) in to boost the local cattle industry, thus making it more viable.
He said the support is necessary since for too long workers in the cattle industry were not given the much needed recognition for their contributions and were unable to enjoy the celebration after hard work.
Regional Chairman Brian Allicock in welcoming everyone who came out to support this year’s activity, commended organisers for putting together such a well-planned and eventful weekend of action.
He added that such an activity once successfully hosted augers well for any economy given the fact that support is not only forthcoming from Guyana alone but internationally as well.
Among other dignitaries in attendance was Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe who successfully completed the most adventurous 2016 Pakaraimas Mountain Safari.
Among the days added attractions was a ten-man military display by members of the Harpy Eagle Parachute Club.
The paratroopers were led by Veteran Jumper Lieutenant Lloyd Souvenir, with the youngest Paratrooper being Sergeant Chris Corbin, 27, who has been in the business for almost ten years.
Two of the jumpers proudly landed to safety as they carried the Golden Arrow Head after which there was a military display as one flag was handed over to the Indigenous Affairs Minister.
Also witnessing the handing over were Minister Valerie Garrido-Lowe and Ministerial Advisor Mervin Williams.
Meanwhile, the Ministry’s Golden Jubilee Minitotem Pole was also on display at the activity and those in attendance were given the opportunity to view this creative piece of art carved by artist Foster Simon of Saint Cuthberts Mission.
The Totem Pole which is deemed a symbol of Guyanese Unity came to being after consultations with representatives from the ten administrative regions, local artist and staff, where the spirit of the Makonaima was used as the overarching concept.
Makonaima is believed to be the creator of life and the Great spirit which sustains life, the spirit from which things emanate according to Indigenous beliefs.