Webster going for gold in national rodeo finals

Webster going for gold in national rodeo finals

Sport
Tom Webster is aiming to win the saddle bronc and bareback bronc rides in this years national finals. Picture: Barry Richards Photography

Tom Webster is aiming to win the saddle bronc and bareback bronc rides in this years national finals. Picture: Barry Richards Photography

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APRA board chairman Shane Iker said it was hoped to re-schedule the finals around Christmas or in the New Year.

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Injune rider Tom Webster is aiming to perform well in saddle bronc and bareback bronc rides to give himself a chance to go for the 2021 all around title in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association.

Webster is currently sixth in saddle bronc standings and fourth in the bareback after the 2020-2021 years.

The national finals were scheduled for late October in Warwick but postponed as more than half the finalists were from NSW and Victoria, which are in lockdowns due to COVID-19.

APRA board chairman Shane Iker said it was hoped to re-schedule the finals around Christmas or in the New Year.

Webster won the saddle bronc at this year's Taroom Rodeo and was second in Xtreme broncs at Bowen and third at Cloncurry.

In the bareback bronc ride, he won Homebush and Alexandra rodeos and was third at Mt Isa.

"I am going for the all around title and can hopefully bring the all around back to the rough stock end of the arena," he said.

Webster is eyeing off the Wandoan Rodeo on October 23 and the Warwick Rodeo on October 28-31 as more chances to ride the Gill Brothers saddle bronc horse Moves Like Jagger.

"Jagger has thrown me in my first two rides on the gelding but if I can stay on next time, I would most likely win the saddle bronc," he said.

"He is the sort of horse which keeps you awake at night after you have drawn him."

Webster is never far away from horses. They muster cattle on horseback on the family property Timor at Injune where they have 500 breeders.

APRA chairman Shane Iker. Picture: Barry Richards Photography

APRA chairman Shane Iker. Picture: Barry Richards Photography

As well as competing in rodeos, Webster has a horse breaking-in business at Injune and mostly has 15 horses in work.

Webster was second in one round and second in the average in the 2018 national finals in saddle bronc in Warwick, his best performance to date at the finals.

This year's finals will be his first in the bareback bronc ride, an event where he credits a lot of his success to current APRA champion David Worsfold.

He does most of his travelling with Mitchell rider Greg Hamilton, the oldest saddle bronc rider on the circuit.

"Greg and I travel together and help each other at the rodeos," Webster said.

"At times, Greg drives to Injune as we can practise in our rodeo arena at home."

When the pair practise, Injune rider Peter Brennan is pick-up man.

Peter's son Damien is currently doing well on the United States rodeo circuit.

Iker said record numbers competed at all rodeos on the Northern Run.

"Saddle bronc and ladies breakaway roping events are raging with high numbers of riders," he said.

Iker said rodeo committees in the southern states were pretty positive about the chances of rodeos being held in Victoria, NSW and SA as part of the Christmas Run.

"Riders are keen to go to rodeos and compete," Iker said.

Three of the NSW riders who did well on the Northern Run were Lachlan, Brady and Abby Smith from the Tamworth area.

Abby set a new APRA record in the breakaway roping at Capella in Queensland.

Two young guns doing well in timed events are Kai Clark and Jock Bone-Langdon while Rockhampton cowgirl Zara Benjamin is proving hard to beat in the barrel race.

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