Small town puts on a big show

MEMBER for Tamworth Kevin Anderson wrapped it up nicely on the weekend when he said the small village of Attunga “continues to grow and its community shows the rest of the region how it’s done”.

Anderson was on board with Sibelco’s Damien Power to witness Tamworth mayor Col Murray cut the ribbon and officially open the new rodeo arena, which was only completed (with the aid of state and local government grants) just in time for the 2014 Sibelco Down Under Attunga Rodeo.

Opting to stage this year’s program under lights really paid off, according to rodeo president Cameron Glass.

“We had a record crowd, and couldn’t be happier with the outcome of the whole evening,” he said.

What Attunga may lack in numbers, it certainly makes up for in talent.

Local mum of three teenagers Janette Glass was on fire. She grabbed her third straight Attunga Rodeo steer undecorating crown with a quick 2.08sec over Di Parkinson (2.20sec) and Nicole Fitzpatrick (2.28sec).

And just down the road, Luke Morgan made his saddlebronc ride look like child’s play, cruising to 77 points on contractor Greg Gibson’s Indian Chief to win the Bill Newman Memorial Saddlebronc over defending champ John Dekoeyer (76) and Barraba’s Joel Taylor.

The bareback, considered the “suicide event of rodeo” by announcer Glenn Morgan, was taken out by four times national ABCRA champion, Dee Heinemann (79), three points clear of Western Australian farrier Gerard Oversby.

Oversby then fronted up in the open bullride, but his score of 76 on Fox In Sox wasn’t enough to beat Tamworth’s Cody Berriman who got the judges’ nod for 80 points aboard Little Soldier.

The standard of bucking stock provided by contractors was evident too. Greg Gibson’s big red and white paint horse Rouch remained unridden in his last five rodeos, spearing rider Ben O’Reilly off into the dirt like a rag doll.

And while Kevin Anderson touched on Attunga’s future growth from community support, the future of rodeo was on show with talents like teenager and two-times junior steer riding champion Bradie Gray (son of former titleholding bullrider Mick Gray), pulling in a massive 83 points to win the junior bullride.

Bendemeer’s Riley Reid also collected 83 points to win the Under 11 poddy calf ride, while his cousin and Under 11 junior barrel champion Braith Nock slipped around the drums in a lightning 16.4sec to win the junior barrel.

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