The Open Bull Ride did not disappoint at the Emerald Rodeo with thrills and spills keeping competitors on their toes.
The Open Bull Ride did not disappoint at the Emerald Rodeo with thrills and spills keeping competitors on their toes.

Ridin with the big boys

IT was no sinking ship but Bluff bull rider Joe Polkinghorne certainly had his work cut out staying atop of the beast Titanic at last weekend’s Emerald Rodeo.

The local cowboy may have bucked out of contention in the opening round of the Open Bull division but could look forward to many years in the sport which for so long has been his driving passion.

It’s young Joe’s second season in the open class, moving up to a much heavier and more competitive senior division after a number of years battling the baby bulls in the junior bull ride.

Joe said it was hard not to notice the difference in class, with the bulls significantly more sizeable since his transition to the Open Bulls.

“They’re a lot, lot bigger and heavier,” Joe said.

“IN THE juniors you’re riding bulls usually around the 500kg mark but in the Open they’re up to 1000kg and above.”

His latest ride aboard Titanic, Joe said, would be put down to good experience, as the fearless Bluff rider refocused attention to the remainder of the rodeo circuit.

“He (Titanic) was just too good for me,” he said.

“That’s how it goes I guess. You can have a good weekend one week and a bad one the next.

“I’ll just cop it on the chin.”

Outriding Joe was fellow bull rider Jake Wilson who managed to hold on for the full eight seconds, scoring 87 points to claim the 2011 Emerald Rodeo’s Open Bull Ride title.

Dingo’s Ryan Storey wasn’t too far behind on 78 points, after his Saturday night ride on Bad Kitty.

No stranger to rodeos, Storey put his 10 years riding experience to good use taking out fourth place in Emerald.

After watching Bad Kitty rattle the bones of bull riders during the day, Storey said the forecast cool weather for the evening’s events would add the extra spark.

“It tends to make them buck a bit more,” he said. “I don’t really know why, it just does.”

A relative rookie in bull riding, Blackwater cowboy Trent Maguire drew a beast with all the right credentials, aptly named Prison Break.

He too caught a pre-competition glimpse of his mean-looking opponent in action during the daylight rounds of the Open Bull Ride.

“He didn’t buck all that good but he should be alright,” Maguire said.

The added edge proved to be of little advantage and like Joe, he was bucked off early before a score could be recorded.

It’s not a sport for the faint-hearted and injuries go with the territory.

Thankfully for Maguire, the most he had endured was a dislocated elbow.

And the best part of the job?

“It’s the adrenaline of it,” he said.

Springsure team roper Brendan Kenny was one who found better success on the home track, finishing with two placings for the weekend. Kenny teamed up with Moree’s Troy Caban to place first, before joining Emerald cowboy Jeff Miller for third.

Rodeo competitors will take two weeks reprieve from competition before the action resumes on the second leg of the Northern Run in Taroom on July 23.

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