Thrills and spills at Wa­gin rodeo

Countryman - - COUNTRY LIFE - Bob Gar­nant

Burst­ing out of the rough stock chute at the UniGrain Wa­gin Rodeo, cow­boy Der­ryn Bonisch, atop the beast named Beef Jerky, gave the large crowd a thrilling win­ning per­for­mance.

The Queenslander brought his highly honed skills to the open bull com­pe­ti­tion and the judges re­warded his ef­fort with 74 points — the only rider in that event to gain valu­able Aus­tralian Bush­man’s Cam­p­draft and Rodeo As­so­ci­a­tion mon­e­tary earn­ings to­wards na­tional stand­ings.

With $1000 in the prize money pool, Bonisch was happy to take the lot, which made all the bruises from the bumpy ride a lit­tle less painful.

Chas­ing all-round cow­boy top stand­ings, with the prize of a sil­ver belt buckle, tal­ented WA buck­ing rider Wade McCarthy lit­er­ally jumped out of re­tire­ment to en­ter three rough stock-rid­ing events.

He too had the crowd gasp­ing with his eight-sec­ond ride on sad­dle bronc horse Gra­cie and judges were gra­cious award­ing 61 points, good enough for sec­ond place and a share in the $800 pool with Rhys Mor­ris­sey, who com­manded a win­ning 65 points rid­ing Happy 8.

McCarthy’s con­fi­dence level con­tin­ued aboard open bare­back horse Un­named No.1, set­ting the crowd alight with a 73-point win­ning ride, just one point bet­ter than his ri­val Jesse De­burgh, who was in fine form rid­ing Big Hill to give fans an­other thrill.

Also risk­ing in­jury in that crowd-pleas­ing event, but walk­ing away with point scores and a share of the prize, Peter Price chalked up a 68-point ride, fol­lowed by Luke Met­calf on 67.

Young 16-year-old up-and-com­ing con­tes­tant Jack Collins proved his pas­sage to the top by win­ning the novice bull ride event with a 70point ride.

He took en­cour­age­ment from rodeo an­nouncer Paul Casey, who de­lighted in re­mind­ing Jack that he was wear­ing a cus­tom-made cow­boy shirt “made by Jack’s mum” and that it wouldn’t be right to fall off the beast and soil his at­tire, rather he should dis­mount on to his feet af­ter scor­ing top points — and so he did.

Casey’s wit proved to be a crowd favourite all evening, in­clud­ing his in­ter­view with an Ed Sheeran im­per­son­ator, who was asked to hit some high notes af­ter en­ter­tain­ing fans rid­ing a buck­ing bare­back horse. An­other chal­leng­ing event was steer wrestling, which re­quires the com­peti­tor to fall off his horse only to grip a run­ning beast be­fore at­tempt­ing to stop it and then roll the cap­tured an­i­mal on to the ground with sheer grit.

Ten wrestlers had a go but only one, Re­gan Lan­gridge, could claim the out­right win with a time of 8.41 sec­onds.

In a com­pa­ra­ble event, the ladies un­dec­o­rat­ing, Jo­ce­lyn Hen­neberry was quick­est in a time of 2.28 sec­onds, be­fore Freya To­masini matched her time for a share of the win.

The full-event rodeo in­cluded the fast times in the ladies’ bar­rel race, with 20 riders and their horses all go­ing for their share of the $1000 prize pool.

Moora cow­girl Wendy Har­ris brought her win­ning form to Wa­gin and set a siz­zling 15.45sec. pace, putting up the chal­lenge to go slightly quicker with­out drop­ping a bar­rel.

Only two other horse and riders could stop the clock be­low 16 sec­onds, in­clud­ing Stacey McCarthy with a 15.59sec. sec­ond place ef­fort, while Kaycee Wilton was only 0.36sec. be­hind in third spot with Mad­die Ed­wards and Freya To­masini run­ning fourth and fifth re­spec­tively.

The rop­ing events were also in the loop at Wa­gin and the team of Paul Casey and Zach Kealy roped a calves horns and heels in a win­ning time of 8.5sec.

McCarthy be­gan his bid in the all-round cow­boy point stand­ings by win­ning the rope and tie.

In the ladies break­away event, Court­ney Reinke backed up her win in the ju­ve­nile com­pe­ti­tion by tak­ing out a dou­ble-fast time in the ladies with a 3.99sec. time.

In his third rough stock event, McCarthy was look­ing for a cow­boy hat-trick in the last round of the open bull ride, with hopes of adding to his all-round point tally.

Draw­ing a ride on Rat Salad, he had plenty of high-scor­ing ac­tion as the ath­letic bull bucked in one of the most pow­er­ful per­for­mances of the rodeo.

McCarthy held on best he could, but was bucked off un­der the eight­sec­ond re­quire­ment, thank­ful to walk away and con­tem­plate his prepa­ra­tion strat­egy for the next thrill-seek­ing ride at the next ABCRA rodeo.

McCarthy and To­masini were awarded all-round cow­boy and cow­girl re­spec­tively for their per­for­mances.

Photo avail­able at west­ Pic­ture: Bob Gar­nant

Bare­back rider Wade McCarthy thrilled the UniGrain Wa­gin Rodeo crowd with a win­ning ride on buck­ing horse Un­named No.1.

Open bull rider Der­ryn Bonisch in win­ning form aboard Beef Jerky. He scored 74 points and was re­warded with a $1000 cash prize.

Bar­rel racer Freya To­masini kept pace with the top plac­ers in a com­pet­i­tive field of horses and riders, and fared well over­all to win the all-round cow­girl belt buckle.

Novice bull rider Joel Ruff hangs five at the UniGrain Wa­gin Rodeo.

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