Rough ride for Warwick boys in first round of rodeo champs
WHEN it comes to finals rodeo, the biggest names often rise to the occasion and that was the case last night when Tooma (NSW) rider Brad Pierce won round 1 of the saddle bronc in the Warwick Rodeo Australian Championships.
He scored 76 to win round 1 as the best 15 in the nation battled it out for a title buckle which will be presented after the final round of the championships.
Pierce went into the championships in third place on the standings behind the top-two, Warwick pair Michael Maher and Mark Collins.
Maher surprisingly bucked off in round 1 while Collins came fourth.
Upper Horton (NSW) cowboy Troy Wilkinson has three weeks off from his job as a diesel fitter at a mine at Orange to contest the championships and all started well with a score of 81 in the bull ride and the early lead.
He is two in front of runner-up, Dingo rider Ryan Storey.
Wilkinson won the open bull ride at the Warwick Rodeo in 2013 and scored 81 on Thursday night on the bull Black and Tan from the Brian King string.
He found out at 3pm yesterday he was on Black and Tan so had six hours to prepare for his first victory over the bull in two rides.
"Everything went right this time," he said.
Today, he is eagerly awaiting to see what bull he draws for the 6pm round 2 championship action at the Warwick Showgrounds.
Wilkinson and Storey were the only two in a field of 15 to ride time in round 1.
In the bareback, New South Wales rider Cody Angland was first with 79.
Rounds 2 and 3 at 6pm Friday and Saturday and final round at 1.30pm Sunday. Second-division and junior events earlier in the day on Saturday and Sunday between the campdrafting.
Round 1 winners - Rough Stock Events
Saddle bronc - Brad Pierce (Tooma, NSW) 76 points
Bareback - Cody Angland (Wantabadgery, NSW) 79
Bull ride - Troy Wilkinson (Upper Horton, NSW) 81