Rodeo first a winner

Claire TyrrellCountryman

Mingenew’s first ever rodeo proved a great success, attracting cowboys and girls from all over the country.

More than 3000 people poured through the gates to witness the event, held last Saturday at the Irwin polocrosse grounds.

There were 176 competitors in 13 categories, all with their eyes on the $28,000 prize money.

South Australian cowboy Dee Heinemann dominated the event, winning the bareback rounds and placing second in the steer wrestling and open bull rides.

Heineman took home more than $4000 in prize money and was crowned All Round Cowboy.

Jessica Norton took out the ladies all-round award by winning the ladies breakaway roping and being placed second in the steer undercoating event.

New South Wales buck jumper Brock Harris starred in the saddle bronc, enduring a series of difficult rides to tally 70 points for $1400 prize money.

Harris re-entered the Australian rodeo scene last year after competing in Canada.

Strong competition in the open bull ride resulted in Troy Wilkinson winning with an 83-point ride. Wilkinson won $2200 in the highest point scoring event of the day.

WA twins Eli and Clay Smith scored well in the novice bull ride, placing first and second respectively.

Eli Smith also took out the juvenile steer category, placing equal first with Ashley Black.

Taya McFarlane, 13, impressed in the under 18 barrel race, winning the event from 17-year-old Shelby Bowtell.

Taya completed the barrel race in 16.52 seconds, ahead of Shelby’s 17.06 seconds.

Amber Bowtell won the ladies barrel race with a 16.90 second ride, which won her $1197.

Young rider Anthony Thomas impressed in the bull ride, saddle bronc and bareback events.

Thomas grew up in Derby and moved to Queensland to ride professionally. He is preparing to ride in the US next year.

Thomas placed third in the novice bull ride, equal fifth in the saddle bronc and equal sixth in the bareback ride.

Organisers of the Mingenew Rodeo were very impressed with the turnout and hope to make the event a permanent annual fixture.

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