HAVING FUN: David Handley is ready for a big ride tonight but is not too concerned as he only rides the bucking bulls for fun.
HAVING FUN: David Handley is ready for a big ride tonight but is not too concerned as he only rides the bucking bulls for fun. Allan Reinikka

Rodeo young bloods eager

FORGET the CRCA Finals and the Professional Bull Riders, tonight is the big night, at least for young local hopefuls.

It is the final night of the Paul Archer The Good Guys Young Gun series and for those up-and-coming cowboys in Central Queensland this is the event that matters.

Each month since March the Young Guns competition has taken place with competitors picking up points in the Poddy Ride, Steer Ride, Rookie and Junior Bull Ride and the Rookie Saddle Bronc.

Riders like Clint Wheeler know they will collect a belt tonight as he has 170 points in the Rookie Bull section having gained two wins and four placings during the series to lead Jack Cleaver by 90 points.

With 40 points awarded for the win, 30 for second, 20 for third and 10 for fourth, Wheeler only requires a place to also take out the Junior Bull Ride as second-placed Cody White trails by 35 points.

It is a lot closer in the Poddy Ride with Corey West and Zac Riley-Wilson neck-and-neck.

Organiser of the event at the Great Western Indoor Arena, Brian Duggan, said the series had been a great success.

“At the start most of the kids were lucky to stay on for just a few seconds,” he said.

“Now they are riding that well they hardly get bucked off.”

Duggan said the series has given an opportunity to everyone wishing to try out in the sport.

“We had a couple of motocross kids asking if they could have a go,” he added.

“They did and are coming back.

“We like to encourage people from outside to have a go.”

One who took up the challenge was David Handley. At 30 years of age, he is not exactly a young rider, but he is inexperienced.

A former contract musterer, Handley works these days in the security business, but took to the sport as it provides a great adrenaline rush.

Recently the novice rider got his first payout when riding a bull into second place at a rodeo at Calliope.

Despite that success he has no major ambitions in the sport.

Despite the lack of time he has spent in the sport, Handley has already suffered his first serious injury when his face crashed into the head of a bucking beast.

“It's just a part of the sport,” he said.

Tonight's show at the Great Western Indoor Arena begins at 7pm.



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