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Boy, 4, a rodeo Young Gun

Four-year-old poddy rider Riley Elliott, as the youngest rider, gets in a practice run ahead of the Young Guns series at the Great Western Hotel tonight.
Four-year-old poddy rider Riley Elliott, as the youngest rider, gets in a practice run ahead of the Young Guns series at the Great Western Hotel tonight. Allan Reinikka

DECKED out in his funky purple chaps, flannelette, jeans and cowboy boots, young Riley Elliott was so eager to jump on the poddy calf ... and that was just his practice run.

The four-year-old from Gracemere will be the youngest rider in tonight's Young Guns series at the Great Western Hotel.

In practice on Wednesday afternoon, Riley showed how it was done.

“You hold one hand up, grab the rope and the chute opens. Then you spur him with your boots,” Riley explained.

Riley got up on a poddy calf for the first time about a year ago, and his mum, Christy, says she hasn't been able to get him off since.

“I thought he would be chicken at first, but he loved it,” Christy said.

Little Riley, who is a bit of a ladies man and wants to be a cowboy when he grows up, has no fear in the arena.

“It's so fun. I don't get scared,” he said.

Rodeos are a big part of the family's life.

While Christy and Riley's older brother Brayden enjoy barrel racing, Riley's little brother Cody is only two and has already had his first ride on a poddy calf.

“He's too young, but he loves it,” Christy said.

Riley's coach, Brian Duggan, who trains a lot of juniors at the Great Western, said Riley was one of his most eager youngsters.

“He's very keen for a little bloke,” Brian said.

Brian said the Young Guns series gave anyone. experienced or not, a chance to have a go.


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