A record gate and almost 4500 spectators combined with a $40,000 prize purse to make the 2020 Narrandera Rodeo one of the best yet.
Held on February 22, the rodeo was officially opened by Narrandera Shire Council Mayor Neville Kschenka and drew competitors from along the eastern seaboard.
Narrandera Rodeo president Ron “Blue” Absolom said this year’s gate topped the $28,000 of 2019, with the event attracting 4500 spectators and 248 competitors.
“The canteen sold out of food, the bar sold out of drinks, and the gate takings were well up on last year,” Mr Absolom said. “The arena had a mix of quarry dust and sand, and it held up well.
“The stock contractor was pleased – the horses and bulls were competitive, and the weather was perfect, there were no injuries and the crowd well behaved.”
Mr Absolom said bus loads of workers from the new solar farm at Darlington Point enjoyed the rodeo action.
He said planning had begun for next year’s event with a new secretary’s office required, depending on funds.
In a highlight for the evening, Kyle Horton won the second division bull ride on 71 points, ahead of Eli Bee on 70 points while Will Purcell kept the crowd on the edge of their seats with a score of 92 in the bull ride.
Cameron Webster, Wandoan, Qld, took out the saddle bronc ride on 83 points with Cody Angland, NSW, right on his tail on 82 points.
Kimba Fien tied with Billy Stephens on 73 points in the second division saddle bronc title on 73 points with Jayden Blacker in third place on 71 points.
Dallas Hay scored 83 points to win the bareback bronc ride, over Jarrod McKane on 80 points.
Queenslander Shane Kenny is top of the leaderboard for open team roping and took out the rope and tie in 9.9 seconds ahead of Terry Evison, Pinegrove, Vic, on 11.25 seconds.
Terry backed up to win the steer wrestling on 5.1 seconds with William Blackwood, Young, NSW, in second on 5.55 seconds.
Lauren Smith, NSW, and Dusty McPhee tied for first in the ladies breakaway roping while ladies barrel race leader Leslie Moore chalked up another win on 18.048 seconds.
Brady Smith teamed up with Josh Rindflesh, NSW, to win the team roping on 6.6 seconds.
In the juniors, Toby Deudney came in first on 79 points in the steer ride, junior high point cowgirl leader Ellie Guard, Table Top, NSW, won the barrel race in 17.44 seconds and breakaway roping, and Nate Arnold the Under 12 barrel race in 22.33 seconds.
Graham and Julie Flynn, Gillenbah, supplied the steers for the junior steer ride.
Mr Absolom said a minute’s silence was held for founding and life members, the late Ron Hahne and Robert Baul.
R Clempson, Junee, won the $500 first prize in the raffle, Mrs Bennett, Galore, won the $200 Narrandera Gourmet Meats voucher, and Geoff and Jill Sullivan the $100 Duff’s Mitre 10 Hardware voucher.