Boddington rodeo good as gold

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantThe West Australian

Some of the Australia's best rodeo competitors entertained a large crowd at the Boddington Rodeo in November.

The event is gaining a reputation and inviting top-ranking Eastern States rodeo stars to fly in and gain valuable Australian Bushman's Campdraft and Rodeo Association points in the lead-up to the national finals, to be held in January at Tamworth.

The experienced Eastern Seaboard competitors took many of the wins.

Rodeo announcer Paul Casey said the knowledge they shared with WA's competitors was as valuable as the gold mined in the township.

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"There is always good camaraderie when the superstars of rodeo touch down in Boddington," he said.

Landing gracefully off his eight-second ride on bucking saddlebronc horse Tou Can was Australia's leading competitor, Robert Bandy, who flew from NSW to compete for his first time at Boddington. Before the 77-point win, Bandy was sitting in second place in the national standings.

Seated in the country's top position in the open bull ride, Jason O'Hearn of NSW also won his event, riding high-scoring bucking bull Sun Dancer.

Judge Grant Edwards said it was an Australian championship performance.

O'Hearn gave his full support to WA's 2014 national title holder Wade McCarthy.

"I hope he takes the win off me today," O'Hearn said

While McCarthy did not gain any points in the bull ride, the Gingin cowboy performed brilliantly in the bareback event, taking the win with a 73-point ride, which will maintain his third position in the event.

Also bringing his best to Boddington was Heath Nichols of Muswellbrook, NSW. Currently Australia's second best all-round competitor, Nichols was involved in three wins at Boddington.

He took out the rope and tie, steer wrestling and team roping with partner Blake Hallam.

Nichols said the hat-trick was overwhelming.

"I felt very lucky," he said.

Also part of the Eastern States charge, NSW cowgirls performed well, including Jane Stagg, who won the ladies' breakaway roping, while Jocelyn Faulkner won the ladies' steer undecorating.

Moora barrel racer Wendy Harris continued her winning form in a time of 18.54 seconds, beating a field of 33 riders. Before the win, Harris was in eighth place in the national standings.

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