Drovers Rodeo ropes in big crowd
■ Pilbara bull riders tasted not only the glory but also the arena dirt last Saturday, as they risked life and limb in front of an appreciative Hedland crowd at the inaugural Drovers Rodeo.
More than 1000 locals poured through the gates to watch the professional and amateur riders from Queensland, the Northern Territory and WA tackle the hulking bulls.
Eventually, current Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association national champion Wade McCarthy emerged triumphant in the open competition as he rode the bull, High Price, for the maximum eight seconds.
Amateur Derby rider Kadin Bauer also capped off a memorable rodeo to finish second in the open division for his ride on the bull Evil, in addition to claiming victory in the novice division.
Borderline Rodeo Promotions worker Ben Wratten helped organise the event and said it went off smoothly and to good reviews from Hedland residents.
“A lot of people said to me it was really good to see a different form of entertainment come to Port Hedland,” he said.
“They said the quality of bulls and riders was great and that they were thrilled the arena was very small so they could be close to the action.”
The successful event capped off a long push by well-known Hedland local Frank Edwards to get the event off the ground.
Having poured his own money and labour into the rodeo, Mr Edwards said apart from delays in getting the food stalls and bar open, the event and crowd were fantastic.
“We’ll be back bigger and better next year,” he said.
“The first one always has teething problems; once you get those ironed out, you know what the crowd wants.
“We had a fantastic crowd, they behaved well and got into the event — I can’t thank them enough for supporting this.”
A bull gains the edge on its rider.
This rider bounces off his bull.