TOOMA cowboy Brad Pierce will be the rider to beat in the long weekend rodeos in Victoria after setting a new record 93 points in the saddle bronc at the Narrandera Rodeo in late February.
This weekend, there are Victorian rodeos at Kyabram on Friday, Merrijig on Saturday and Chiltern on Sunday.
There is also a rodeo at Gowrie Park in Tasmania on Saturday which has attracted 140 entries.
Pierce scored 93 at Narrandera on the Garry McPhee horse Cheyenne Top Girl to break the record of 92 set at Heathcote in 2006 by Victorian rider Bruce O’Dell on Garry McPhee’s QT. New South Wales cowboy Cody Angland equalled O’Dell’s record in 2010 at Myrtleford on John P. Gill’s horse Paper Rock.
Last year, Pierce won the Australian title after a strong performance at the Warwick Rodeo APRA National Finals.
The 93 by Pierce is one of only two 93s in rough stock riding in APRA history. Fraser Babbington scored 93 in the bull ride at Childern in 2008 to set a new record in his event.
Pierce has nominated for the Kyabram Rodeo in Victoria which has 281 entries on Friday.
His toughest competition in saddle bronc should come from current standings leader Cameron Webster from Wandoan.
South Australian rider David Stacey from Goolga will be one to watch in saddle bronc at the long weekend rodeos.
In the bull ride, current champion Jack McArthur from Cooyar will be one of the favourites for the long weekend rodeos along with Ben Thorp from Young in New South Wales and Victorian cowboy Bryden Atkins from Docher.
There are 342 nominations for the Merrijig Rodeo in Victoria on Saturday and 332 for Chiltern on Sunday.
The cowgirls from around the country are heading to the long weekend of rodeos in Victoria with 43 nominated for the barrel race and 41 for breakaway roping at Chiltern.
On Saturday, the best of the cowgirls in Tasmania will be out in force at the Gowrie Park Rodeo which has attracted 23 riders in the barrel race and 16 in breakaway roping.
In the rope and tie and team roping, one of the best chances is last year’s national finals qualifier Gary King.
Friday March 9, Kyabram Rodeo starting at 7pm
Saturday March 10, Merrijig Rodeo starting at 6:30pm
Saturday March 10, Gowrie Park Rodeo starting at 4:30pm
Sunday March 11, Chiltern Rodeo starting at 6:00pm
(Tickets for all rodeos available at the gate.)