TOUGH RIDE: Cody White put his best show on in the Junior Bull Ride at the CRCA Rodeo finals in Gracemere on the weekend.
TOUGH RIDE: Cody White put his best show on in the Junior Bull Ride at the CRCA Rodeo finals in Gracemere on the weekend. Picture by Chris Ison

Dunn claims Bull Rider of Year

THERE is one guarantee in life and that is if a rodeo is in town then the crowds will flock there.

At least they did to Austadium, Gracemere at the weekend for the CRCA Finals.

Three shows with over three hours of non-stop action in each with man (and woman) challenging some of the stars of the animal kingdom.

For some competitors it was all a breeze, making it all look easy no matter the size of the animal they were teamed up with or against.

In the Open Bull Ride, Roy Dunn has been living up to his famous surname and collecting big scores wherever he competes.

He even went into the weekend’s final series a clear leader and a near certainty to collect the buckle for the 2009 Open Bull Ride.

As it worked out, Dunn was to be very thankful he had those points on the board as his first two rides of the event were very ordinary.

After being undone in the opening round on Friday night, Dunn, who recently posted a score of 90 points at a Nebo rodeo, was drawn for the Saturday afternoon show to ride a bull named Jumangi, which ironically was one of the Troy Dunn herd.

Dunn could hardly say it was the motion of Jumangi that ended his challenge as the bull barely left the chute before Dunn was drawing great gulps of Gracemere dust through his teeth.

While Dunn suffered little more than a kick in the ego, Sonny Schafferius, who was in second place behind Dunn, had an even more uncomfortable time.

Riding the big Red Bull Schafferius looked to be in charge for the first five seconds of his ride.

Then Red Bull got fed up with his company and away flew the cowboy.

However the bull had not had his full revenge and gave Schafferius a bit of a working over before the bull fighters could get to him.

Fortunately for Dunn his best ride of the finals was saved for the third round where he lasted the full eight seconds on a bull named Hell Yeh to earn himself a score of 84 points.

At the finals Craig Postle was the most consistent rider with three clean rides to earn the prize for the best average but despite collecting much-needed points he could not collect enough to run down Dunn who collected the buckle for the CRCA Bull Rider of the Year for 2009.

One of the big improvers of the year is teenager Joe Polkinghorne who looks like a champion of the future.

Best ride of the finals in the Open Bull Ride was reserved for the last show when Russell Cox, who also had a clean ride in round two, stayed on board Hang Tough to collect a good score of 87 points to win the round.

Unluckiest rider of the final round was Jason Mara who stayed the full eight seconds on Brian Duggan’s Junk Yard Dog but was disqualified for bringing his free arm into contact with the bull during the ride.

Had he not fouled Mara, who was a winner in round two with 83 points, he would have scored in the high 80s.

  • In a rodeo it is not just the bovines that are capable of terrorising a cowboy.

Tim Duggan was lucky to run away after his horse threw him to the dirt in the Open Saddle contest and then flipped over him, nearly inflicting a nasty injury.

Luke Holmes was not so lucky in the Open Bareback event in the evening show when he was hung up badly.

While failing to release himself the horse then rolled on to the cowboy.

Immediately help was on the scene as it looked as if he may have suffered serious injury but thankfully Holmes received little more than a few bruises and ligament problems.

The same could not be said for one of his helpers who suffered a broken nose trying to release Holmes from the struggling horse.

  • The award of CRCA Bull of the Year goes to Maneater.

The Brian Duggan bull took the prize to give Duggan his second Bull of the Year title in three years. The other win came with Junk Yard Dog in 2007.

  • See Wednesday’s edition of the Morning Bulletin for further results and scores from the CRCA Finals.

Dunn suffered little more than a kick in the ego



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