Following a string of second places and near misses, Tumut born Morgan Webb won his maiden Battle on the Bidgee opens title on Sunday, alongside his partner Emma O’Shea who also took out the Ladies championship.
The dynamic pairing blitzed the three-day competition held in Gundagai over the weekend, with Webb finishing strong after trailing coming into the final round to finish with a total score of 747.70, while O’Shea maintained her strong lead over the rest of the field on Sunday to finish almost 50 points clear on 854.20.
Webb grew up in Gilmore Valley and went to School in Tumut before traveling the world, moving to Melbourne after finishing school and spending time in the United States before settling down in Cootamundra last year.
The talented stockman has been competing in stockman’s events since he was 15 years old and said, he couldn’t have asked for a better feeling winning the Battle of the Bidgee just around the corner from where he grew up.
“We’ve got a young son now and I actually didn’t get to ride my horse as much as I usually like to,” he said.
“I was a bit underprepared but my horse was great and it turned out all right.
“It was a really good feeling to get a win right close to home.
“I knew most the people in the crowd, I knew the committee and it was just really good.”
Having tried his hand at events all around the world, the Battle on the Bidgee had always been just out of Webb’s reach finishing second on three occasions.
Webb came into the finals in fourth position after struggling in the preliminary events. But a lucky draw in Sunday’s finals gave him a chance and opened the door for a last ditch comeback.
“I ran second at the Battle on the Bidgee three times previously so this is the first time I’ve got over the line,” he said.
“I didn’t have a very successful prelim event.
“Sunday comes down to luck of the draw with your livestock and this year I drew a better brumby and a horse that bucked a bit better which was good.”
While Webb came from behind for the win, his partner O’Shea, who hails from North Queensland, held her lead from the prelims and took out the Ladies division with a healthy gap between her and her closest rival.
Despite admitting she was nervous, O’Shea was full of confidence heading into the event and was motivated by doing it alongside her partner.
“It’s always good to come out on top,” she said.
“I’m normally pretty confident going into them, you try to prepare so that you are confident going in so you’ve got every chance.
“But I always get nervous.
“We work together all the time and we help each other out when it comes to that type of thing.
“We prepare together and we’re both happy for one another to go well.
“It’s a friendly rivalry.”
Although the duo could claim a day of rest after their successful weekend, they were straight back to work today and in O’Sheas words “working harder than they did all weekend”.
Now the power couple of the stockmen circuit, Webb says there is no secret ingredient to their success, instead, just working well as a team and doing your best.
“It’s a good feeling to know that she’s the top of her class and I got a win too, it is a good feeling,” he said.
“It lets you know that the program you’ve got going on at home is successful and you’re running along the right lines.
“It’s just hard work.
“There’s no secret ingredient you just take your losses with your wins and enjoy it when it comes.”