Big rodeo turnout
The Onslow Rodeo attracted one of the biggest fields of entrants and crowds in the 15-year history of the event, with more than 1000 spectators turning out on a sunny day to watch the cowboys and cowgirls compete.
Bullriders became well acquainted with the red dirt of the Pilbara last Saturday at the annual Onslow Rodeo.
Now in its 15th year, the rodeo attracted a few big names to the meet, with champion riders such as Wade McCarthy and Gerard Oversby among a strong local field to take up the challenge.
Onslow turned it on for this year’s rodeo, with a perfect sunny day and little wind to speak of making for a comfortable meet for riders and the many spectators lining the ring.
The bucking bulls clearly revelled in the conditions, with few riders managing to get far clear of the chute and stay on long enough to register a score.
A group of six Onslow riders calling themselves the Salt Shakers raised about $7000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and local emergency services and clubs.
Team roping also proved tough but there was more luck for competitors in the steer wresting, breakaway roping and rope and tie events. While riders struggled on the bulls, the horses proved a crowd-pleaser.
Bareback and saddle bronc events each featured plenty of big rides, with horses taking their riders for a journey around the ring on several occasions.
Rodeo president Shane Stratford said the meet had been the best the association had ever held.
“At one stage, security estimated there were 800 behind the bar,” he said.
“We get the (big) boys out every year because it’s an international circuit.
“The local riders turned out as well, a lot of local riders which was good to see.”
Mr Stratford said first-time rider Jake Brooks, who recorded 7.5 seconds in the local bull ride on his first attempt, had been impressive.
Attention now turns to the Robe River Campdraft and Rodeo in Pannawonica, where significant upgrades have been made to the arena ahead of this year’s meet.
The Robe River Rodeo runs across three days on the first weekend of September and is the biggest rodeo event in the Pilbara.
Wade McCarthy leans back as his mount flies.