A RECORD 298 competitors saddled up their horses and pulled on their chaps to compete in the Senex Energy-sponsored Wandoan rodeo on Saturday.
Entries increased by nearly a third on 2018 with Juandah Rodeo Association president Colin Worsfold putting this down to the event now being part of the National Rodeo Association's (NRA) annual circuit.
"This is our second year with the NRA and we've seen a lot of quality riders from as far away as Mareeba who haven't competed here before," Colin Worsfold said.
One such rider is 17-year-old Zane Hall from Toowoomba who beat 12 competitors to win the open bull ride on 79 points. Calliope's Macaulie Leather placed a close second on 77 points.
Hall also placed second in the novice bull ride on 72 points after Clay Heaton just beat him with a score of 73.
Hall took out third in the U18 junior bull ride with Mt Walker's Dan Ruhland winning with 69 points and Breese Flocchini placing second with 68 points. Ruhland also won the Russell Poole Memorial.
Dave Worsfold was Wandoan's most successful competitor claiming the open bareback ride in front of his hometown crowd for the seventh time in eight years.
Worsfold was the 2018 Australian champion bareback bronc rider. His wife Sharna was third in the rookie novice barrels.
Katelyn Simpson from the Northern Territory won the U18 junior barrel race in 16.575 seconds, fractions of a second shorter than second place getter Emi Carlson on 16.578 seconds. Simpson also took out third in the U18 junior breakaway roping.
Kate Patch claimed the barrel race in 16.647 seconds.
Thomas Whitwell was all rounder.
Senex community relations manager Trevor Robertson was too busy on the BBQ to watch the action but said this meant the rodeo was just another successful event hosted by Wandoan.
"Senex was delighted to sponsor the rodeo when it not only drew the most competitors ever, but also recorded a crowd increase," Mr Robertson said.