Big rodeo turnout

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Picture: Tom Zaun­mayr

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.

Picture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Wade McCarthy leans back as his mount flies.

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