PHOTOS: All the action from the rodeo, in photos - here
MOONBI cowboy Ben Smith had never officially competed in a buckjump event until Saturday night at the Bendemeer Rodeo.
Known more for his talents in the roping arena, Smith rode Overdraft to 80 points for victory in the invitational poly buckjump.
The inaugural fun event saw five riders swap their buckjump saddles for everyday work saddles – basically going back to the grassroots of rodeo.
A winner’s cheque had eluded Smith all day – no doubt his reason for entering the poly buckjump. His wife, Lauren, had been the family fundraiser, taking out the ladies’ breakaway roping in lightning 1.9sec over Manilla’s Kylie Barnett (2.19sec).
Tamworth real estate salesman Riley Gibson grabbed victory in the open bull ride with 77 points over Barraba’s Chris Lowe (74).
Three-times NFR barrel racing champ Coonamble’s Bianca Hertel continued to blitz rivals in the barrel race, with victory (16.24sec) over Tamworth’s Courtney Hallam (16.37sec).
As they have done for several years, Bendemeer’s Jenner family was on hand to present the Peter Jenner Memorial Saddlebronc trophy, which is named after their son.
Local committee member Bobby Freeman looked home and hosed for the trophy with 72 points.
That lead lasted until the second-last ride, when Gundagai’s Mark Edwards impressed judges Cameron Glass and Dave Kelly for 74 points.
The celebrity barrel between reigning champs Kootingal Roosters and Bendemeer Mountain Men saw the latter take the crown after the three runs.
The Roosters’ Matt Jones, Anthony (Bluey) Smith and Daniel Storch looked the winners, but former pony clubber Storch, who won his run, was disqualified for shooting around the wrong drum.
That gave Mountain Men’s Shane Rule, Scott Saunders and Matt Jenner victory.