Riders thrill big crowd
ROUND Two of the Bullzye Top Guns series lived up to expectations with the cowboys getting in and getting dirty.
The best rodeo crowd over the past 12 months were at the Great Western on Saturday to see cowboys and girls put on a good show as they attempted to get points on the board to win the major prize at the end of the series - a trip to the United States.
Only one cowboy or girl can claim the prize with the top points-scorer coming from across four disciplines, open bull ride, bareback ride, saddle bronc and open barrel race.
Some have made the ideal start and even though there is a long way to go, with nine rodeos and a final in the series, it will be up to other competitors to catch them.
One of the those is cowboy Jared Borghero.
In round one, Borghero drew the up-and-coming Brian Duggan bull Cochise and claimed a big score to win the section.
On Saturday he nominated another good bull in Hazard, a former Duggan beast, and was even more impressive as he rode it to the maximum effect to collect a massive 91 points.
Duggan said a cowboy drawing Hazard was always certain to get a big score off the judges so long as he rode the beast within the rules and did not part company with it before the eight-second bell.
"He's a big bull, probably 1100kg," Duggan said.
"He's also very athletic and can get high in the air."
Borghero needed to pick up a good score to gain the victory as it was a night when high scores were common. Russell Cox put together a good ride for 85 points on the Rod Nunn bull Spot Baron but only claimed fourth place.
Fresh from the professional bull riders' circuit, Sam Larsen took the runner-up position on Cochise with a score of 87 points, as the bull was ridden for a big return in successive rodeos.
In the Ladies Barrel Race, Alleisha Priddle was still setting the pace after finishing in second place on Saturday.
Priddle now has a win and a runner-up place to her name but there was little she could do in round two as Jill Lyons burst back into contention with a great ride to take the win.
There was not much separating Dave Worsfield and Stu Frame in the Bare Back ride but the experience of Worsfield on the American circuit gained him the extra point which proved to be vital. Worsfield has now won two from two in the series.
Allan Powell, winner in round one, had to settle for a share in the winning ride with Clay Braden in the Saddle Bronc contest.
In the Junior Bull Ride, Tyler Morgan carried over his hot form from the Young Guns series to win on a young spinning bull, Happy Days, the first time the beast has been ridden successfully.
TOP GUNS ROUND 2
Open Bull Ride: 1) Jared Borghero, 2) Sam Larsen
Saddle Bronc: Joint 1) Allan Powell and Clay Braden
Bare Back: 1) Dave Worsfield, 2) Stu Frame
Barrel Race: 1) Jill Lyons 2) Alleisha Priddle
Rookie Bull Ride: 1) Mitchell Power, 2) Callum Gleeson
Junior Bull Ride: 1) Tyler Morgan, 2) Harry Hoffman
Steer Ride: 1) Sam Spencer, 2) Gavin Plummer
Poddy Ride: 1) Toby Hale, 2) Macauley Leather