Pride of rodeo in finest form

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Rough stock rider Gerard Oversby, of Woolbrook, NSW, won the bareback event and is chasing top standings on the ABCRA national money list for the title of All Round Cowboy for 2019.
Camera IconRough stock rider Gerard Oversby, of Woolbrook, NSW, won the bareback event and is chasing top standings on the ABCRA national money list for the title of All Round Cowboy for 2019. Credit: Bob Garnant

National standings were on the line at the Harvey Dickson Rodeo as top competitors from around the country put in their best performance at Boyup Brook on Saturday.

Country music promoter Harvey Dickson welcomed a large crowd of 5000 to his 18th rodeo, which had a record 326 entries, including several top-ranked US circuit competitors and trainers.

The two-day rodeo, music and camping festival is a popular event on the rural calendar and attracts the very best in family entertainment.

Mr Dickson’s daughter, Shane Dickson, sang a beautiful rendition of Peace in the Valley before announcer Paul Casey said “it’s time to rodeo” to the cheering crowd.

The arena then came to life with a stampede of flag-bearing pageantry riders, including Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association rodeo queens and princesses, who made up the grand opening entry team.

Round one of the open bull event saw Jack Collins score 68 points in what the New York Times has labelled one of the most dangerous sports in the world, but the best was yet to come.

New South Wales rough stock rider Gerard Oversby, of Woolbrook, who is leading the ABCRA national standings in the bareback event, put in yet another win at Boyup Brook.

Gerard, who grew up at his parents’ Bindoon farm, also took pride in his niece, Lucy Oversby, 9, who won the under 11 barrels at Harvey Dickson.

One of 11 entries, Lucy was riding her favourite crossbred, Casey, to clock a time of 19.56 seconds.

Rodeo blood has always been in the Oversby family with Lucy’s mother, Amanda Oversby, claiming a dual-win in the ladies’ breakaway and steer undecorating events. Even Lucy’s uncle, Laurance Oversby, got into the act, winning the rope and tie, while her father, Alister, also competed favourably.

Lucy, who is currently in the top 10 of national standings for her age group, had eyes on the ladies’ open barrels, when Shelby Bowtell powered through to take only her second win in the adult event.

Rodeo is also about years of experience and leading the way across the county has been Ben Maytom, of Stroud in NSW. Maytom, who has taken on the best in the US, was effortless in his saddlebronc win to seal his number one ABCRA national standings.

Back from a three-year injury, Collie farmer Reece Jasper is now planning a US rodeo tour after winning a sensational victory at Boyup Brook in the open bull ride.

Jasper had to take on Wade McCarthy, seated second nationally, and Gerard Oversby, in what was a very competitive line-up of entries. Adding to his run to the national All Round Cowboy title tally, Gerard also placed second in the steer wrestling, but it was Kim Dawson who had the win and broke the arena record in a time of 3.89 seconds.

The team roping event was also a crowd favourite particularly when Brooke Byers caught the horns while Daniel Begg roped the heels of the calf in winning and synchronized form.

As part of showing how well rodeo stock are treated, Double Barrel Entertainment, who conducted the Harvey Dickson rodeo, let loose the bronc horses into the arena.

Mr Casey motioned the crowd to admire their shiny coats and excellent constitution as the horses had a victory gallop, with a buck or two thrown in.

“These horses love the sport they are associated with,” he said.

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