Wet and wild rodeo

Tumbarumba’s Tim Hammond hangs on coming out of the chute as Take Me Easy gets straight into work at the Tumut Rodeo on Saturday. Photo: Andrew Roberts.

The Tumut Rodeo came sludging through town on Saturday after rain bucketed down all Friday night.

There were some question marks early Saturday morning if the rodeo would even go ahead.

Still, to the credit of the Tumut Rodeo Club and the Tumut Showgrounds, the show went on.

Tumut Rodeo Club president Brad Malone was never in doubt of the day going ahead.

“Our area just sucks up the water and never puts competitors, or their animals at risk,” he said.

“I would even go as far as saying we have one of the safest arenas in Australia.” 

Tumut Rodeo club secretary Karen Baker was pleasantly surprised by the rodeo going ahead.

“The arena held up very well considering all of the rain,” she said.

“On Friday night there was plenty of water in the arena divots but by Saturday, it had all cleared up and looked in great order.”

The damp and cold conditions did deter some of the expected crowd but a boisterous group of rodeo fans stayed on through the conditions and weren’t left disappointed.

The Blondie challenge was the main event on the card and showcased the best saddle-bronc riders in Australia.

Walcha’s Carl Green was the eventual winner, taking out his second Blondie Challenge and the Open Saddle Bronc section.

Green believes the Tumut rodeo is the best one on any Saddle Bronc rider’s calendar.

“I don’t miss the Tumut rodeo. It is one of the best and that’s why they get some of the top riders going”

Jayden Blacker won the Tom French Memorial for the Novice Saddle-Bronc section.

Blacker who is a farrier in Windsor loved the experience.

“It was an absolute cracker of a night and the arena held up better than anyone would’ve expected,” he said.

The Allan Sephton memorial Open Bull Ride was won by the Boorowa-based Troy Cross.

Cross scored 85 points, which is one of the highest bull-riding scores in recent years.

Brad Malone was full of praise for the animals and competitors who entertained the crowd.

“This was one of the best Blondie Challenge finals I’ve seen,” he said.

“The Gill brothers really showcased some good stock for the earlier rounds and our Blondie breed didn’t disappoint in the final.”

Unfortunately the Friday downpour did dampen the junior competitors with multiple events cancelled. 

Club secretary Karen Baker explained the reasons behind this decision.

“We had to cancel the second round of the Juvenile Bull Ride, the second and third rounds of the Junior Breakaway, the second round of the Junior Steer ride and the eight to eleven Poddy Calf Ride,” she said.

“It just got to wet for the younger ones and we didn’t want to put anyone at risk.”