Bull ring fills with cheer for Xmas run

By AARON KELLY ROCKHAMPTON'S Kevin "Jock'' Connolly has his wishlist ready as he prepares for the annual cowboys' Christmas run.

Connolly continued his impressive winning run in round eight of the Toyota Extreme Superbull Series at Rockhampton's Great Western Hotel on Saturday night.

The runaway Ridley Agri Products Bullriding Australia Championship leader scored 172.5 on his two rides to win from fellow Rockhampton cowboy Ryan Storey on 171.

St George's Al Southern placed third on 159.5 while Katherine's Heath Shrimp set a new arena record with his 91-point second round ride on Graham Iker's Cowboy Way.

It was another high quality showdown between the nation's top-25 riders and bulls as the countdown to the season-ending finals begins.

"There was some of the best bullriding we've seen all year on show,'' Bullriding Australia's Glen Young said.

Connolly is the man to catch when the tour heads to Cunnamulla this Saturday night then Brisbane on Sunday, with Ayr's Bud Williamson, Rockhampton's Anthony Everingham and Southern still in striking distance.

Round one of the national finals starts in Mooloolaba on December 28 before the Superbull Series decider hits Rockhampton on December 30 and 31.

The Australian champion will be crowned when the final two rounds of the national finals continue in Mooloolaba on January 3 and 6.

Young said all riders had their sights on the "big money'' up for grabs during an intense 10 days of competition.

"They can make some big money during that period ? they call it the cowboys' Christmas run,'' Young said.

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