River Dart Rodeo Announcement Video #2 is now live. But for those who prefer reading and want to know how they can watch the Rodeo, here are the main points!


Given that the event is taking place on the Upper Dart, risk is an inherent factor. For that reason, we are setting certain parameters in place to try and keep everyone safe.

Most important of these parameters is the water-level cap: the event will take place only if the river is between 0.6 and 1.0 on the gauge at Dunnabridge. Competitors should be comfortable paddling the river at these levels. If water-levels are not favourable, we will postpone the RDR to a future date. 

Secondly, wherever possible the Rodeo locations will be in relatively low-risk environments, where safety cover can be set to mitigate threats. Whilst there is not an official RDR safety team, riders are expected to provide safety cover for one another. So don’t forget your throwlines! 

Finally, the RDR requires all competitors to use a boat with appropriate, functional grab-handles and (at least) stern airbags; we fully appreciate that slicey boats and bow airbags don’t necessarily mix! Riders must also have an ISO-approved buoyancy aid and helmet. And no matter how much of a rodeo ninja you may be, please dress for a swim in the bitter January conditions! All the layers you’ve got, and then a few more!


There will be two possible ways to spectate: paddling in or walking in. In both cases, we ask that groups or individuals do three things:

  1. be respectful of other outdoor enthusiasts,
  2. adhere to social distancing guidelines,
  3. make sensible decisions about the weather conditions and daylight hours on the day. Walkers in particular, please allow yourselves enough time to hike out again. 

For people hoping to paddle in, we would simply ask that you be patient with both organisers and competitors. Because no matter how much we try to keep our impact on other river users to a minimum, and we will, such a large group occupying a small section of river is going to be a little awkward at times.

We would also ask paddle-in spectators to remember that there is no official safety cover in place for the event. If you would not normally paddle the Upper Dart at the levels specified, please do not use Rodeo day as the excuse to try! Conversely, if any spectators do feel willing to offer some safety cover, please feel free to message me at Matthew Brook Coaching in advance.


A little reminder for competitors that the ticket link, which will be a Google Form, will go live on Sunday the 1st of November at 1800 hours GMT. It’s first-come, first-served, so be sure to fill in your Form as quickly as possible.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next announcement.

And remember, rodeo isn’t dead…

The TL:DR version!