Bulls take 'em for a ride
WHEN 34 cowboys go out to collect some prizemoney from riding a bucking bull you might expect more than one to last the full eight seconds.
On Saturday night at the Nissan Navara Arena at the Great Western that was not the case as the bulls were the masters while a succession of cowboys found the quick route into the Rockhampton dirt.
The only cowboy to get a score on the board was Justin Paton in the Open Bull Ride section.
Making his win impressive, Paton was on one of stock contractor Brian Duggan's favourite bulls, Titanic.
However, the judges marked Paton for just 80 points for his ride causing Duggan to suggest the beast might be a bit sluggish after a bit of a lay-off.
“I think the bulls are a bit too fat, it must be all of this green feed,” he joked.
One Duggan bull that appeared to be in prime condition was Goody's Western Star which gave Rohan O'Donohue a torrid time as he attempted to remain on the beast's back for the full ride.
“He's quite a handy bull,” Duggan commented in what might be classed as an understatement.
Owen Danastas was left ruing his decision to take a re-ride as any score on the board would have resulted in collecting prizemoney in the Rookie section.
The less experienced riders did a lot better in their sections.
The talented Jesse Beak scored a handy 78 points in the Junior Bull Ride to gain victory from rival Leannard Vannek who was able to muster just 67 points from his ride.
Sebastian Riley-Wilson is one of the stand-out riders for the future and he again proved his potential by winning the Steer Ride.
It was a close-run thing, however, as just one point was all that separated Riley-Wilson from second-placed cowboy Lawson Nobbs.
The Poddy riders are always a favourite of the crowds at the Nissan Navara Arena and on Saturday they did the job once more with Harrison Rideout showing his class with the win while Ben Carlaw was second.
Chris Williams may have enjoyed a win in the Saddle Bronc and Jamie Morgan in the Bare Back but the wildest ride of the night belonged to Dale Bougoure.
The young horseman was on a Ross Ford demon named Honky Tonk Queen in the Saddle Bronc division and did well to stay in position for six seconds, but just when it looked as if he might collect a big score the animal won the battle and Bougoure was sent sprawling.
The girls like to put on a show in the Ladies Barrel Race and less than half-a-second separated the first four successful riders with Joelene Gleeson taking the win and Jocelyn Behan second.
It may have been a good turnout but it would have been even better had the night not clashed with the APRA grand finals at the Gold Coast.
Bouldercombe miner Troy Mara was crowned champion bull rider of Australia following the final round in a competition where 120 of Australia's best cowboys and cowgirls competed in six Australian championship events.
Emerald's Shane Kenny had a good championship winning both the Rope and Tie and also, as heeler, the Team Roping with Jeff Miller.
Open Bull: 1. Justin Paton
Open Saddle Bronc: 1. Chris Williams, 2. Robert Ingram
Open Bareback: 1. Jamie Morgan
Rookie Bull: No winner
Ladies Barrel: 1. Joelene Gleeson, 2. Jocelyn Behan, 3. Kristy Smith
Junior Bull: 1. Jesse Beak, 2. Leannard Vannek.
Poddy Ride: 1. Harrison Rideout, 2. Ben Carlaw, 3. Klay Mendham and Patrick Turner.
Steer Ride: 1. Sebastian Riley-Wilson, 2. Lawson Nobbs.