SADDLE bronc competitor Troy Palmer grits his teeth and hangs on grimly during the Cabarita Bull ?n? Bronc Spectacular.
SADDLE bronc competitor Troy Palmer grits his teeth and hangs on grimly during the Cabarita Bull ?n? Bronc Spectacular.

Cowboys get rough ride at Cabarita

By BOBANTHONY

KYOGLE bull rider David Kennedy may be sore but he isn't sorry after taking out the open bull riding event at the annual Cabarita Bull 'n' Bronc Spectacular on Saturday night.

In front of more than 5500 spectators, Kennedy managed to last the required eight seconds on his bull Little Outback and claim the prizemoney and title in his 10th year of competing at the Cabarita event.

It didn't go all his own way during the event with Kennedy falling heavily but he wasn't the only cowboy to come off second best.

Some of Australia's best bucking bulls and horses were in action at Cabarita, making cowboys work very hard for their keep.

On the local front, Tyalgum horsewoman Janice Lancaster and her horse Occy broke through for a maiden Cabarita victory in the open barrel race on an evening which proved to a huge success for organisers and the Tweed Coast community.

COWBOY Nathan Sherlock has intimated he will ignore the pain of serious injury to compete Wednesday in the next round of the National Rodeo Association pointscore series.

Sherlock suffered three broken ribs, a crushed throat and lost a number of teeth after coming to grief during the open bull ride at the 10th annual Cabarita Bull 'N' Bronc Spectacular on Saturday night.

Sherlock, the 2006 National Rodeo Association bull rider, bull fighter and all round cowboy of the year, had earlier in the night won the open saddle bronc title.

He then stepped into the arena to fulfil his role as a bull fighter but his luck ran out when he climbed aboard a bull as a competitor in the open bull ride.

Sherlock was hit by the bull after he fell heavily but despite his injuries, he indicated he would ride in the next pointscore round at Byron Bay on Wednesday.

More than 5500 spectators packed the Cabarita Equestrian Grounds on Saturday night while a high-profile police and security presence ensured the evening was incident.

Kyogle stockyard builder David Kennedy thrilled the crowd when he edged out James Hay to claim the open bull ride event and the almost $700 winner's cheque.

Kennedy, runner-up at Cabarita last year, finished with 80 points after an impressive ride aboard the bull Little Outback.

Kennedy said he had been watching the bull and when it came out of the chute, he was ready for its tight spiralling moves and bucks.

"I'll definitely be back to defend the title next year," Kennedy said.

In the novice bull ride, the Kerry Hall's bucking stock finished on top with only one rider, Jimboomba's Glen Lafoe, able to last the distance.

A second generation bull rider, Lafoe claimed the division with a score of 71 points after sticking with Handle Bar Harry for the required eight seconds.

Grafton schoolboy Matthew McGuren won the junior event, just clear of Warwick teenager Damien Clark.

Both cowboys drew the bull Smooth Criminal but McGuren did just enough to hold off Clark in what was one of the closet competitions of the evening.

Tyalgum's Janice Lancaster broke through in the open barrel race, claiming her maiden win in the event at Cabarita on her quarterhorse Occy.

Lancaster won in a time of 15.68 seconds and described the run as her "best ever".

"There was a bit of pressure on me after the media story so it was a relief to win," Lancaster said.

Killarney rider Bianca Weir, 14, won the junior title for the third consecutive year.

Weir finished in 15.71 to edge out Chinderah's Mahli Breckenridge (16.05) on her horse Jessica.

The open bareback was won by Bill Church.



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