‘Heart and soul’ of rodeo honoured

Bob GarnantThe West Australian

There was a different vibe at this year’s Harvey Dickson Rodeo at Boyup Brook but still that great genuine country life atmosphere that never fails to draw a strong crowd.

During the grand opening, Harvey Dickson said he dedicated his family’s 15th annual rodeo to Rose — his beloved wife who passed away recently from an illness.

“She was the heart and soul of our country music centre and rodeo entertainment,” he said.

The couple’s daughter, Shane Croke, sang Johnny Cash’s Peace in the Valley in memory of her mother with Saturday’s large rodeo crowd sharing the sentiment.

Mrs Croke said the respect for Rose had been tremendous with many beautiful people attending both the recent memorial at their music centre and today’s rodeo.

“We celebrated her life with favourite country songs which she loved,” she said.

Under the new rodeo regime, Double Barrel Entertainment principals Mark and Jo Kestel along with Weston Withers and announcer Paul Casey, the team reignited the renowned event after its 2016 absence as the Dickson family stepped back in full support of Rose’s health.

Rodeo competitors adorned arm bands for Rose and somehow the threatening weather remained at bay from start to finish.

As usual with the ABCRA-affiliated event, there was non-stop thrills and spills which had one bull rider sent to hospital.

Dual barrel race winner and Gingin cowgirl Maddi Edwards was the fastest in both the novice and open events riding her horses Rocket (19.35sec.) and Cold Play (18.85sec.) respectively.

Maddi, who holds the Australian record of 1.25sec. in the steer undecorating, also placed third in that event at Boyup Brook behind winner Jocelyn Henneberry (2.05sec.) and Amanda Oversby in second.

While the open bull competition was desperate for an eight-second winning ride, the 2014 Australian bull riding champion Wade McCarthy was happy to take out the rope and tie competition.

“I have hung my boots up in bull riding to enjoy roping and my very experienced horse is teaching me all the ropes,” he said.

All 12 open bull riders failed to hang five for the required time, but crowd support was behind first-time event competitor Jack Collins, who just missed out and unseated in 7.7sec.

Novice bull ride competitors numbered 25 with three making time. Issac Leclair Jr won and Tyrell Metcalf finished in second place. In the horse-bucking events, Rhys Morrissey made easy work for a winning ride on saddle bronc horse Tou Can, while Peter Price put in a great effort to win by one point in the Bareback event.

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