Drovers Rodeo ropes in big crowd

Pilbara News - - Features - Ben Leahy

■ 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.”

Pic­tures: Ben Leahy

A bull gains the edge on its rider.

This rider bounces off his bull.

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