Bulls 'on top' at Christmas ride
IF the bulls were preparing for the festive season they certainly didn’t share that spirit with the cowboys.
The Battle of the Bulls Christmas Bull Ride turned out to be a one-way journey for competitors with the bulls a clear winner.
Stock contractor and organiser for the Great Western Hotel Indoor Arena, Brian Duggan, was happy with the show as it attracted a large crowd to the venue and provided plenty of “high-flying” action, even if that was to the discomfort of the cowboys.
The Open Bull Ride was particularly fierce.
About 25 of Central Queensland’s finest tried their luck on the best bulls Duggan and Trevor Dunn could muster.
It was no contest with four rides recorded in the qualification stage and none in the shoot-out.
Qualifying with a score of 78 points for an excellent ride on Cranky Franky, Josh Plant’s evening then sunk to the depths when he attempted to ride the new bull from the Duggan herd, Titanic.
Duggan had promised that Titanic was a big beast that would offer plenty of points for the cowboy managing to stay on board for the full eight seconds.
Plant managed about half that journey.
The beast not only tossed Plant into the unforgiving dirt, but then took on the prone cowboy as the bullfighters tried to turn his attention to them.
Plant’s discomfort resulted in a trip to hospital by ambulance.
It’s a tough sport in which even the most accomplished cowboys can finish their ride covered in dirt in an undignified heap in the middle of the arena.
Mount Larcom teenager Bill Hargreaves also had a mixed night.
Having won the Rookie Bull Ride with a stylish 77-point ride, Hargreaves moved up to the Open event and was riding well there too. That was until the Duggan bull Spook decided to produce another little trick which surprised the rider, ending his ride short of the bell and resulting in a realignment of his prominent facial feature.
Even the best tasted disappointment.
Kevin “Jock” Connelly is the ultimate showman and when successful, everyone in the arena is made aware of his joy. The same can be said when he fails to make the eight-second mark.
On Friday night Connelly drew the bull Long Tan with the pair parting company after six seconds leaving the disconsolate Connelly to trudge, head down, out of the arena and out of contention for the $2000 payout.
In the end there were just four cowboys making the cut for the shoot-out.
The brave Steven Corrie made it through after being offered a low score or a re-ride. He took the re-ride on Cranky Franky and earned a shot at the prizemoney.
Ben Seeds looked to be back to his brilliant best when he rode the Dunn bull Trooper to a 77-point score, but could not get the Battle of the Bulls buckle, coming off second-best to Duggan’s Western Star in the shoot-out.
Plant had earned his spot, but the best qualifier was Jason Mara, who rode exceptionally well to milk 84 points from his ride on Johnny Mac.
While excited about his new bull Titanic, Duggan could be equally pleased with old favourite Western Star, the consistent Junk Yard Dog and the young bull Hillbilly Hook.
In other sections of competition Troy Mara made it a double family payout when placed behind Hargreaves in the Rookie ride.
Bray Perrett stayed on Whirlpool to secure the win in the Junior Bull Ride, while in the Poddy section the Riley-Wilson brothers, Sebastian and Zac, steered clear of trouble and carnage to take first and second places respectively.
Corey West showed his potential as the only successful rider in the steer section.