FOR four local boys, Wingham Summertime Rodeo tomorrow (January 5) will be the chance to put on a show for their home town as they compete in adrenalin pumping events at Wingham Showground.
Good mates, Braedyn Cameron, David Mills and Ben Gallagher have travelled the rodeo circuit throughout the region with the event at Wingham one they’ve looked forward to for a while.
The 16-year-olds will enter the ring for the steer ride, junior bull ride and novice bull ride. The novice bull ride is the step before opens and a big step up from the junior bull ride with the main difference being in how the animals act in the arena.
“I’m pretty excited and a bit nervous to have my first novice ride in front of family and friends. I wanna make it a good show,” Braedyn said.
The three agree the scariest part of the heart-stopping process is being in the chute as the seconds count down before the bull is released into the open.
The boys spend much of their time practising together on steers or barrels set up at Braedyn’s place.
For Braedyn, rodeo is an obsession. He lives and breathes it.
“It’s all about the thrill and adrenalin rush,” Braedyn said.
They said the rodeo scene is friendly with older riders only too happy to give them advice and pointers.
Ben said rodeo is not like normal sports. Although competitive, the cowboys are always there to help each out and have a joke together.
The three have emerged so far from the physically testing sport relatively unscathed. Braedyn has cracked ribs and David said he walks away each weekend with another bruise.
Ben said riding rodeo is not about beating the other riders, it’s about beating the bull.
He said that although technique and agility are important, much of it is in your mind.
One thing the three riders will be focused on is making the eight seconds to qualify for a score.
The three boys all have aspirations to continue riding and build their experience. David is hoping to go to the United States in the next two years for his bull riding.
“I want to keep riding and see where it gets me,” David said.
Bronc rider Luke Moore will use Wingham Rodeo to kick start his rodeo action after taking a few months off since returning from international competition in the United States.
Luke’s aim for the rodeo is to have a crack at the champion Rick Norris Memorial Buckle for the novice saddle bronc event.
In the next 12 months, Luke’s aim is to build up enough prize money to bust into open competition.
The natural horseman this year graduated Tocal College with a merit for Certificate III in horse husbandry.
He has picked up his dream job at a property near Armidale where he will be working stock most of the time.
The live-in position will see him work alongside former Australian saddle bronc champion, Carl Green.
The weekend of Wingham Summertime rodeo will be a big one for Luke who turns 18 on January 3, celebrates his birthday on Friday and competes the next day, January 5.
“It will be a big buzz again. I’m hoping the broncs will be better than last year.”
Luke said the horses didn’t buck enough last time and that he is looking for something with a bit of kick.