Fred shows how its done
COMPETING in five bareback bronc riding rounds in four days this week at the Jupiters National Finals Rodeo will seem like a walk in the park for Gore rider Fred Osman.
After flying in on Wednesday from Broken Hill, where he bases his contract mustering business, Osman will contest round two of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association finals tonight.
He was one of the top three in the finals two years ago but reckons he is in better form this time.
"I am fitter and healthier than before," he said.
Osman also has a year's experience competing in North America to fall back on. He will notice the travel difference between rides this week as each round is at the Gold Coast Convention Centre.
At Easter, he competed at Great Western Rodeo in Victoria on the Friday night before flying to Emerald on Saturday for a rodeo and then travelling by car to Roma for a ride on Easter Sunday.
One of his best 2012 performances has been a winning score of 81 on reigning Bucking Horse of the Year Cheyene Brave at Narrandera, a horse he hopes to draw in one of the five rounds of the National Finals Rodeo.
While some of the rodeo competitors will have a surf at the Gold Coast during the finals, Osman said it might be a bit fresh for that.
"If it warms up a bit, I might have a splash in the water to loosen the muscles a bit," Osman said.
With the first round last night and more rounds tonight, tomorrow afternoon and night and on Sunday afternoon, Osman will be looking to loosen a few muscles each day.
"You have to record five scores to be a chance for the title," he said.
Two years ago, the bareback title was not determined until the final round with Osman, Quirindi cowboy Darren Clarke and Victorian rider Lee Bowler neck and neck.
Bowler won that title and Osman rates him as one of the favourites this week.
Osman has called Gore, between Warwick and Inglewood, home in recent years but spends most of his time in the west contracting mustering or working on the family property at Cameron's Corner.