What’s in a name?

by Tayler Strong

Father Dan Cummings won New Zealand rodeo finals in his younger days, reflecting the name of Fatherdantherodeoman, who cleared novice ranks at Forbury Park on Saturday.

The four-year-old gelding by Elsu is out of Tuapeka Tango, who was sold by the Tuapeka Stud, Lawrence operated by Father Dan, his brother, Peter and sister Julie Davie.

“It was nice to see him win,” said Father Dan (72), a semi-retired Catholic priest. He rode buck jumpers and bulls in the rodeo as a junior and carried on to specialise in steer wrestling and calf roping. He rode in finals for 14 years and won New Zealand titles for both skills.

Fatherdantherodeoman is raced by Leeston breeders Stephen and Jo Blair, who were acquainted with Father Dan when they operated a convenience store in Milton. He is the last foal of Tuapeka Tango, an unraced daughter of Smooth Fella – Tuapeka Dancer.

Tuapeka Stud bred seven winners from Tuapeka Tango, among them Jamie, who won the Waikouaiti and Wairio Cups. Tuapeka Tango later left Tangos Delight (seven wins) for Dawe Bloodstock and Properties Ltd.

Fatherdantherodeoman is a member of the Gore stable of Tony Stratford, who has trained other horses for the Blairs. They include Stirling Charmer, who was sold to Australia in 2010 after a win from five starts. The Live Or Die – Mona’s Pride gelding won another 17 races in Australia and ran 1.52.9 at Menangle.

Dexter Dunn drove Fatherdantherodeoman to lead over the final 1700m. Dunn also won with Time Traveller and Innocent Artist to complete 17 Forbury Park meetings for the season with 44 wins.