DRY evenings drew good crowds to witness thrilling displays of rough riding at the Port Fairy and Tyrendarra rodeos on the weekend.
A white-knuckle ride by Bryden Atkins, who lasted the whole eight seconds on a bucking bull, was a highlight of the Port Fairy rodeo on Saturday night.
Atkins, 21, scored an impressive 90 out of 100 points to win the open bull ride and a $6200 prize.
The Victorian competitor honed his skills on the college rodeo circuit in America.
About 2000 people attended the rodeo at the Port Fairy showgrounds, comparable to last year’s turnout.
The event was a good fund-raiser for the Port Fairy Football and Netball Club, whose netball co-ordinator, Mick Moroney, indicated the club was likely to stage the event again next year.
Mr Moroney said the weather had not started out ideally but rain held off for the event.
Rodeo secretary Tania Anson said the good prizemoney attracted about 80 competitors from throughout Australia.
Les Stacey of Adelaide won the second division bull ride competition while Chris Young from Western Australia won the open bareback.
Lee Bowker from Heyfield in Victoria won the open saddle bronc and Maran Thompson, a young girl from Winnap near Dartmoor, won the junior barrel race.
The bucking bulls and horses are provided by Dartmoor’s Woodall Rodeo Promotions. The Woodall family’s long experience in rodeos was reflected in the Port Fairy results.
Tammy Woodall, a granddaughter of the Woodall family patriarch, Ron Woodall, won the ladies’ barrel race.
Another grandchild, Jayden Polaski of Hamilton, won the second division saddle bronc and a third grandchild, Sam Woodall of Heywood, won the junior bull riding.
Codrington youngster Joe Down was equal second in the junior bull riding.
Ms Anson said one of the riders at Port Fairy, Michael Krienke of Katherine, suffered a cut to his head when he was thrown into the panels surrounding the rodeo arena but was not seriously injured.
The annual Tyrendarra rodeo on Friday night also enjoyed strong support with up to 2000 people attending, up on last year.
Rodeo co-ordinator Michelle Wilksch said rain had held off until most of the events had been run.
The rodeo, in its 18th year, is a fund-raiser for the Tyrendarra community.
Luke Davidson and Cody Teece were the equal winners in the open bull ride while Zane Brandenburg took out the junior bull ride.
Cody Tyrell won the open bareback and Lachie Polaski the second division saddle bronc.
The open saddle bronc was won by Les Stacey, the junior barrel race by Maran Thompson, the ladies’ barrel race by Tammy Woodall and the second division bull ride by Rohan Markham.