Cowboys young and old partaking in the Street Parade held on the evening of November 2nd.
Photo by Kranky Kactus.
The annual Cootamundra Rodeo didn’t disappoint on Saturday, with a great crowd on hand as locals cheered in delight for Cowboys and Cowgirls who roped, rode, and wrangled their way to victory.
Popular Dungog Cowboy Tom Hudson stole the show in the Tom Mitchell Memorial Open Bull Ride when staying aboard Venom for eight seconds to register an excellent score of 86.
It was a good result and a close finish, considering seven of the ten Cowboys competing couldn’t register
a score. In the end, Hudson, with his 86, held off Jack Brodrick by two points after he rode Black Jack to 84 points.
Rounding out the top three was Lawson Stenhouse, who rode Buckle Up to a score of 82 points.
“It was a really good ride, and the bull turned back both ways, and it was a good effort,” Cootamundra Rodeo President Mick Axsentieff said when describing Hudson’s ride. “People go there to watch cowboys ride the stock, and the crowd gets a bit bored when the stock keeps bucking the riders off, and there is nothing better than seeing riders do the job, and there were some great rides on the day.
“Plus, we have to give a big thank you to our protection clowns; they did a terrific job.”
In the always-popular Bareback Bronc, Dee Heinemann scored well with 78 when staying aboard the well- named Widow Maker. It was tough going in the Open Saddle Bronc, with the fearless bucking stock proving a bit too good for most of the cowboys, as the crowd roared with delight at each thrill and spill. Still, in what was a star-studded line- up, including the likes of Aidan Jeffery, Mitchell French, Tommy Lucas, and Gus Lawrence, Brody Cummins got the win when riding Boss Man to a score of 73 points.
On the day and night, everyone was kept entertained, and Axsentieff believes the event was the biggest of its kind in Cootamundra’s recent history. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of the biggest crowds this town has ever had other than when the Canberra Raiders played here a lot of years ago,” Axsentieff said. With competitors, their families, and everyone through the gate, there would been at least 3000 people; that’s massive for the town.
“The town is just booming from it, and the competitors can’t get over the facilities, and what we’ve done is a big talking point.” In terms of the future, Axsentieff and his team want to see the Cootamundra Rodeo and Street Parade get ‘bigger and better’.
“We’ll just keep poking along with facility upgrades, but there is no funding, and we have to do it ourselves, but we are starting a new era,” Axsentieff said. “We’re one of the only clubs that have our own arena; some have to get portable arenas in, but we own ours, and we can keep adding to it and building on it.
“Plus, with the street parade, it is only going to get bigger and better, and next year, we might even have to block off some streets and get a few carnival rides in there, and that is our plan, and I guess we’ll see what happens.”
With the Cootamundra Rodeo in the books, local competitors will soon turn their attention to the Gundagai Rodeo, which is scheduled to be held on Saturday, November 25. 2023 Cootamundra Rodeo Results Junior Steer Ride (8-11) – Bailey George 81 Junior Steer Ride (11-14) – Brayden Oddy And Blake Cross 77 Junior Barrel (under 11) 19.901 Junior Barrel (11-14) – Lacey Besant 17.972 Juvenile Barrel (14-18) – Montana Jackson 18.099 Ladies Barrel – Katina Matthews 17.693 Novice Barrel – Shawn Chape 18.196 Rope and Tie – Logan Penfold 10.09 Team Roping – Clay Bush 7.325 Steer Wrestling Jock Bone-Langdon 4.17 Novice Bareback – Wilson Kelly 72 Bareback – Dee Heinemann 78 Junior Breakaway Roping – Bailey Searle 2.34 Breakaway Roping – Anna Crisp 2.03 Junior Bull Ride (14-18) Ashton Sweeney 86 Novice Bull Ride – Jesse Pendergast 79 Bull Ride – Thomas Hudson 86 Novice Saddle Bronc –Gus Lawrence 74 Saddle Bronc – Brody Cummins 73.