Roughstock and ready

RODEO

BOASTING an impressive register of 10 Australian bareback titles, Bective’s Greg Gibson would have to be in the box seat for hand-picking good rodeo stock.

After an impressive riding career, Gibson hung up his competitive boots five years ago. Twelve months later he added the tag of registered stock contractor to his already productive horse float and gooseneck building business.

Saturday week, Gibson will load up “probably 15” of his string of roughstock horses (including Rouch, who hasn’t been ridden in his last four outings) for the trip across to Attunga’s Sibelco Down Under Twilight Rodeo.

“I grew up on a stud in the Hunter Valley, so I’ve had horses around me all my life,” Gibson said.

“And I wanted to put something back into a sport that I got so much out of.”

Keen for Attunga to maintain its popularity on the annual rodeo calendar, Gibson also put his hand up for the committee.

“They’re a good hard-working group, particularly with the main driving force of Cameron Glass, who re-formed the rodeo after a lull of some years, and Dianne Norris, who basically got us the grant to build our own arena.

“The arena’s 98 per cent complete, and we’ve hired it out already. There’s a rodeo school there this weekend.”

Being a title-holding competitor for many years, Gibson knows just what it takes to make a good roughstock horse.

“We’re breeding a lot of our own now. Most of the other contractors are doing the same,” he said.

“A good horse needs a lot of heart and toughness.

“They’re athletes in their own right. They keep themselves fit, and they’re looked after just as any good athlete is.

“Basically you only get out what you put into them – the same as it was when I was riding.”

And in an effort to look after patrons, the committee has opted to stage this year’s program under lights.

There will be action from around 9am with the official opening from 4pm, according to president Cameron Glass.

“We’ve got all the usual roughstock and timed events as well as the popular World Championship Cowhide Drag, which is always a big hit with the crowd,” he said.

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