THEY came from a wide area to contest last weekend’s Bendemeer Rodeo but it was Western Australia cowboy Blake Pine who took the cash with 72 points and victory in the open bareback.
The 24-year-old westerner has his feelers out in this area.
“I’ve been here a couple of weeks and done some riding over this way in the last couple of years. We’re looking for somewhere around here to settle – possibly Manilla,” he said.
The novice bareback went to Luke Morris with the same score from judges Cameron Glass and Dave Kelly.
But closer to home, Bendemeer committeeman Bobby Freeman was maybe floating on cloud nine after 72 points in the feature Peter Jenner Memorial Saddlebronc, a much sought- after trophy annually in memory of local cowboy Pete Jenner.
Freeman’s score came in the first round and he looked like pocketing the prestigious trophy right up until the second last ride in the second round when Gundagai’s Mark Edwards went round him to score a 74.
Narrabri’s Tom Knight won the novice saddlebronc with 67 points.
The ladies’ barrel was hotly contested, with the top three top scores only a fraction apart.
Three-times ABCRA barrel racing champion Bianca Hertel made the trip from Coonamble profitable with her slick 16.24sec, beating Tamworth’s Courtney Hallam (16.37sec) and Breanna Learmonth (16.44sec).
Tamworth real estate sales agent Riley Gibson took out the open bullride with 77 points over Barraba cowboy Chris Lowe (74).
The novice bullride was won by Duri’s AJ Riley (72), while our bullriders of the future, St George’s Sam Southern (80) and Bendemeer’s Riley Reid (79) reined in the Under 11 poddy ride.
Moore Creek’s Parkinson family continued to dominate the roping, with father and son Steve and Cameron taking out the team roping (6.97sec) over Jackson Dening and Will Miller (7.07sec).
Moonbi’s Ben and Lauren Smith also got amongst the money. Lauren won the ladies’ breakaway roping in a slick 1.9sec over Manilla’s Kylie Barnett (2.19sec) while team roping husband Ben, in his first ever official rough riding event, won the inaugural fun event, the Invitational Poly Buckjump with 80 points.
Brent Townsend won the steerwrestling in a quick 5.8sec, then backed up to take out the rope-and-tie in 15.16sec over his dad Greg Townsend (22.59sec).
And in the junior arena, winners in the barrel were Riley Reid (Under 11), Braith Nock (11-14yrs) and Bianca Canham (14-18yrs) while steer riding honours went to Oliver Towell (11-14yrs) and Eric Richardson (14-18yrs).