Local cowboys back in action

James Tutt will enter the novice bareback at Cobar Rodeo this weekend.

For most Australian cowboys, it’s been six months since any sanctioned rodeo has been given the green light.

So, it’s understandable that there is an air of excitement, with many competitors travelling to Cobar on Saturday for the first event back since Covid-19 forced a ban on social gatherings and sporting events. 

The Australian Bushman Campdraft and Rodeo Association (ABCRA) event has been well supported too, with 145 entries across 14 events. 

Local competitors will be in action at Cobar, with Tom Kerr and Cody Ballard entering the open saddlebronc, Jake Duedney in the novice bull ride, James Tutt in the novice bareback, Callum Keenan and Toby Duedney in the juvenile steer ride and Jesse Prendergast in the junior steer ride. 

Kerr, who hasn’t ridden professionally since fracturing his skull in Tumbarumba’s Blaze of Glory rodeo earlier this year, said he was ‘chomping at the bit’ for a return to competition. 

“I haven’t been on anything since I got hurt but I am keen,” Kerr laughed.

“We are chomping at the bit and a bit lost lately without our rodeos.”

Kerr, who was travelling to Cobar with Jake Duedney and Cody Ballard, said the boys would be making a weekend trip of it, and expected results would go one of two ways for the travelling trio who might be a bit rusty. 

“We’ll head up Friday night and play it by ear I would say, but we are all looking forward to it,” Kerr said. 

“It’ll either be a good rodeo to watch or really bad, I guess we will find out when we get there.”

ABCRA Chief Executive Officer Craig Young explained that these events could be held after NSW Health lifted travel bans.

“We have received written notification confirming the removal of interregional travel restrictions for sport,” Young said.  

“This is great news, events from Saturday, September 26 will resume under the same conditions that were in place before August 19, 2020.” 

These changes ensure that future rodeos will go ahead, with the ABCRA and APRA seasons set to get very busy in the coming months.