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No barrier to fun on Derby race day

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian
Napier Downs manager Alistair 'Boof' Evans and wife Linda.
Camera IconNapier Downs manager Alistair 'Boof' Evans and wife Linda. Credit: Nic Ellis

Linda Evans will have her hands full this weekend juggling broncos, bulls, ball gowns and a husband called Boof — but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is the driving force behind a celebration of the Kimberley cattle industry in Derby. It starts with a rodeo tomorrow night, is followed by a picnic race meeting on Saturday and ends with a dinner dance where cowboys are fined $50 if they turn up without a tie.

It is the last event on the Kimberley rodeo circuit run by the Northern Cowboys’ Association and the last chance for station folk and their families to get together before the wet season.

Mrs Evans said the beneficiaries of money raised were the School of the Air and the Isolated Children’s Parents Association but the big winner was the pastoral community.

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“If you want young people to stay in a community then you need to provide something for them,” she said.

“In the Kimberley 90 per cent of the staff on stations are young people.”

Her husband Alastair “Boof” Evans is the head stockman on Napier Downs where the youngest station hand is just 16.

Mr Evans would normally be saddling up this weekend but is recovering from a broken pelvis. However, there are plenty of young guns to take his place in the rodeo, races and on the dance floor.

Mrs Evans said the race day was the last of its kind.

“Nobody that has ever been a jockey or a strapper can ride, any horse that’s been registered can’t start,” she said. “There are no whips, no spurs and everybody rides in stock saddles.”

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