Bull riding organisers plan to beat the heat

Luke Parkinson won the novice bull ride at the Bulls at the Beach rodeo held at the Old Bar Tavern.
Luke Parkinson won the novice bull ride at the Bulls at the Beach rodeo held at the Old Bar Tavern.

THE Bulls at the Beach bull riding event held at Old Bar Tavern could switch to a Friday night in 2019.

Organiser, Mark O’Neill from the Old Bar Tavern said this as he reviewed the inaugural event.

The rodeo was held on Sunday and attracted a crowd of between 1000 and 1500, Mr O’Neill estimated. He added this was down slightly on what he was hoping for, although he added the heatwave conditions would have been a drawback.

“The temperature wasn't too bad out here,’’ he said.

“But people in other areas probably wouldn't have been too keen to travel. We had a couple of people who bought $120 seats and didn’t turn up.’’

Mr O’Neill believes the best way to beat the heat would be to run the rodeo in the evening.

He will consult with the Australian Camp Draft and Rodeo Association regarding the possibility of staging a Friday night rodeo next January.

“All the bull riders will be in the area. They can compete here on the Friday night and go to Wingham on the Saturday,’’ Mr O’Neill said.

“We might tweak a couple of other things on the program. But we’ll definitely stage another event next year.’’

A total of 69 nominations were received for the day, which was exclusively for bull riding.

Mr O’Neill said the arena proved to be perfect for the program and gave spectators a great sight at the action.

“A lot of them would never had seen bull riding before,’’ he added.

“So they were right up close to the action.’’

Co-ordinator. Jared Farley from Kempsey agreed the heat was the only drawback.

“But otherwise everything went really smoothly,’’ he said.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to put in on at night next year.’’

There were bull riders in action from throughout western NSW along with the Hunter Valley and Tamworth. Mr Farley said the riders gave the arena the thumbs up.

Mr Farley said there were no injuries.

“A few bruises but nothing life threatening,’’ he said.

Favourite, Cody Heffernan from Singleton won the open bull ride with 87 points. Joe McGrath from Kundabung took out the junior bull ride while Luke Parkinson from Denman won the novice. Heffernan is rated the No 1 bull rider in Australia. He represented Australia at the inaugural PBR Global Cup in 2017 and is based in Fort Worth, Texas for much of the year.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service was the main beneficiary from the day.