Ruby's Pet proves to be a winner
RUBY Bell is much too young to take centre stage in a rodeo arena.
She probably wouldn't want to do that sort of thing anyway, but nevertheless she made a big contribution to Saturday night's St Patrick's Day Bullzye Top Gun Rodeo.
Although Ruby is too young to attend school yet, she does own her own bull, named Ruby's Pet, which was given to her as a birthday present.
The appropriately named beast has already earned the youngster her first buckle.
On Saturday Ruby's Pet also helped to earn Jared Borghero some pocket money, when he was able to last the eight-second ride and claim a winning score of 89 points at the Great Western's Nissan Navara Arena.
In front of a big crowd, estimated at more than 1200 spectators, Borghero maintained his grip on the Open Bull section of Top Guns with another top ride.
Borghero has drawn some quality beasts already in the series and has gained massive scores.
Anything over 85 points is hard to beat but the young cowboy has beaten that total in three of his winning rides, on Hazard, Cochise and now Ruby's Pet.
Despite the high score it was not an easy victory, with Brett Cross also in good form riding the bull Hot Rod.
Stock contractor Brian Duggan said the ride by Cross was also a beauty.
"He made it a hard decision for the judges," Duggan said.
However, Cross was given 87 points for his effort, which was not quite enough to gain the win on the bull owned by Alton Down's Rod Nunn.
Duggan said seven of the 22 cowboys competing in the Open Bull Ride collected scores, with Sonny Schafferius claiming third position and one of the circuit's rising stars Leannard Van Nek fourth.
While Borghero sits at the top of the heap in the Open Bull Ride he has a big challenge when it comes to winning the Top Gun series major prize.
The overall winner gets a trip to the United States to compete on the North American rodeo circuit.
However, that prize goes to the highest points scorer over four sections - Open Bull Ride, Saddle Bronc, Bare Back and Barrel Race.
At this stage of the nine-round, plus a final, series the challenge is from Allan Powell.
Riding a Ross Ford horse, Midnight Johnny, in the Saddle Bronc division, Powell was the only one of seven cowboys to record a score.
As it turned out it was a very good score of 79 points.
"Ross's horses all bucked very well," Duggan said.
One that caught the eye was Copperhead Road, which sent its would-be rider on a spectacular downwards excursion.
Ford also provided the horses for the Bare Back competition, where just two riders competed.
Cross completed a good night's work, after his runner-up place in the Open Bull Ride, with a winning ride on White Lightning.
Duggan said the Ladies Barrel Race was also impressive, with Emma Benjamin causing a bit of a boilover by beating some of the more experienced cowgirls to win.
"Emma was last year's Young Guns Rookie champion," Duggan said.
On Friday night the Paul Archer The Good Guys Young Guns series continues at the Great Western.
Round Three of the Bullzye Top Guns series at the Great Western's Nissan Navara Arena on Saturday.
Open Bull Ride:-
1) Jared Borghero
2) Brett Cross
1) Allan Powell (the only successful cowboy).
1) Brett Cross, 2) Brody Adams
Ladies Barrel Race:-
1) Emma Benjamin