Hail, king of the rope
EMERALD roper Brody Moss isn't one to brag but when you can claim the 2011 Australasian Team Roping Title as your own, there is justification for a little boastfulness.
However Moss seems quite content to allow his latest achievement to quietly slip on by, preferring instead to highlight the help of those around him to reach his career milestones.
An obvious name which sprung to mind was legendary team roper Shane Kenny.
Together the pair took out the Open Roping Title at the Australasian Titles held in Capella earlier this month with a blistering total time of 30.21 seconds from four head of stock.
By the final run, just 13 seconds separated the Kenny-Moss duo from claiming the title's top prize.
Moss said he only had to take one look at roping partner Shane moments before their final run to know the pressure was on.
"I knew what I had to get done. Just the look on Shane's face said it all - you knew it was the real deal," he said.
What many wouldn't have known at the time was that Moss's final run was handicapped before the stopwatch had even begun.
His winning horse "Chicken" was left blinded in one eye after an injury earlier that weekend.
"He was running with only one eye but he's a tough character, he never let it faze him," Moss said.
Another prominent figure featuring in Moss's riding career was Tamworth saddler Mal Fishenben.
Without the leadership of both Mal and Shane, Moss shudders to think of what might become of his roping career.
"I've been so lucky to able to ride with blokes like them," he said.
"I've always looked up to the pair of them and now to be able to rope with them too - it's a great feeling."
True to his reputation, Shane was never far in the rest of the open roping standings, taking out second place with an accumulated time of 36.32 seconds partnered with Pete Young from Melbourne.
The Australasian Titles differ from conventional roping events in that points are ranked over a number of rounds and the final winner is based on a "roping average" according to Moss.
"It's a different deal, instead of roping quickly you're making sure you get every one," he said.
Moss won at the same event in Capella two years ago, winning a lower ranked number 11 title. In both instances the wins netted him a horse trailer.
"The last one I gave to my mum," he quipped.
Just last weekend Moss continued on his winning ways in Gunnedah, claiming wins in the number 11 and 13 roping titles as well as first and second place in the open.