Not his first rodeo, but among his favourites
RODEO: It wasn’t AJ Riley’s first rodeo, but Wallumbilla is among his favourites to compete in, and now he’s won it twice.
On Saturday, he won the CRCA Open Saddle Bronc with a score of 68.5 points, the second time he’s won in that arena.
“I’ve been competing in rodeos for seven years, bulls and saddle bronc first , and now for the past two years just saddle bronc,” he said.
“Wallumbilla is a good local rodeo, all the community comes in for a good night. It’s a pretty lucky arena for me.
“I rode well, Ocean Blue bucked pretty well. I did give him a little bit too much rein which showed towards the end and I couldn’t really get back under my rein to spur him.”
“I was awarded a reride because my first horse lost his footing.”
Riley narrowly beat Tom Webster on 67 points and eleven other riders.
“It was pretty strong competition,” he said.
An impressive number of contestants competed over the afternoon, including 19 11-15-year-old steer riders, 16 novice horse barrel riders, and 11 peewee barrel competitors.
13-year-old Matty Ahern has been riding mini bulls since he was two, and reckons he gave Wallumbilla a red-hot-crack.
“I love the adrenaline of riding,” Matty said.
“My dad used to ride and my whole family loves the rodeo.”
Two-year-old Dusty Rickets was the youngest competitor, and his parents reckon it’s just the beginning for their son.
“He loves to give things a go,” they said.