Mullewa Muster just magic

Kylie RoweThe West Australian

The Mullewa region was once again a hive of activity, as the local community hosted the annual Mullewa Muster and Rodeo.

The weather was fine, sunny and unseasonably warm, and the surrounding landscape green with emerging crops.

About 4000 spectators walked through to gate for Mullewa's full points rodeo.

They were kept entertained from early morning until late into the night with the action-packed rodeo events, Beaut Ute competition, whip-cracking contest, a huge variety of stalls selling food, clothing and equestrian gear and the country music concert featuring Australian music star Adam Harvey, The Sunny Cowgirls and Wongan Hills' up-and-coming artist Chelsea Basham.

A total of 288 determined competitors journeyed from across Australia to have a chance in snatching their share of prize money on offer.

Hotly contested was the Midwest barrel race with 28 entrants.

The event was won by Geraldton's Denzi Finlay in a time of 17.20 seconds, narrowly beating local Mullewa farmer Penny Critch, who had a time of 17.21 seconds.

Among the Midwest barrel contestants were two French cowgirls and one German cowgirl.

They rode borrowed horses and qualified as local, because they had worked for local Mullewa farmers over the seeding period.

"I was so happy to be able to be a cowgirl for a day and see such a wonderful event, it is something we could never do in France," French cowgirl Solwenn Terrier said.

The open barrel race was won in lightning speed by Wendy Harris on Bindi, with a time of 15.78 seconds.

Amber Bowtell placed second on Stitch with a time of 16.03 seconds.

Placing equal third, the Mongoo twins from Meekatharra both achieved a time of 16.06 seconds, with Janine riding her trusty steed Jack and Mickaela on Chicko.

The action really started to heat up as the day wore on with the crowd thoroughly enjoying events such as steer riding, breakaway roping, rope and tie, team roping, steer undecorating and steer wrestling.

Events were explained and riders introduced with fabulous commentary by Paul Casey in his usual humorous style.

With the bar open from noon and the music cranked, the atmosphere for bull riding, bareback and saddlebronc was perfect.

The Mullewa Ambulance service was at the ready just in case they were needed during these dangerous events.

Winner in the saddlebronc was Brock Harris with a score of 73.

The bareback event, where riders try and stay on a bucking horse with no saddle and no means of controlling direction, was won by Peter Price with an impressive score of 81.

The crowd favourite and highly dangerous bull ride was won by Edward Carlon with a score of 76.

The all-round cowboy was Australian champion bull rider Wade McCarthy, who has an unnatural ability to stick to any form of bucking animal.

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