UPPER Horton (NSW) cowboy Troy Wilkinson has equalled the Australian Professional Rodeo Association bull ride record with a score of 93 at the Xtreme Bulls Rodeo at Penrith at the weekend. He rode the Gill Bros bull Hillbilly Deluxe to the record which he now holds jointly with New Zealand cowboy Fraser Babbington. Babbington set the record 11 years ago at the Chiltern Rodeo in Victoria riding the Garry McPhee bull No Smokin.
Wilkinson won the APRA bull riding title in 2015. Rarely does a cowboy score 90 or more in a bull ride so the ride by Wilkinson was exceptional. He was the winner of the Xtreme Bulls event at the weekend to boost his chances to make the final of the Xtreme Bulls and the top-15 in the APRA. The Xtreme Bulls event is put on by Simon Cresswell with support from Gill Brothers who provide many of the best bucking bulls in the nation on the Xtreme Bulls and APRA circuits.
The best 15 in each APRA event to September 30 will compete in the national finals later this year. Wilkinson is currently third in the bull ride standings behind Rothbury (NSW) rider Jason O’Hearn and Queensland star Jake Whalan.
O’Hearn has won more than twice the prize money of Whalan so far this season and is the early favourite to win the pro tour buckle. The Lillico Rodeo in Tasmania is the only one in the APRA this weekend.
Most of the competitors hail from Tasmania but Tumbarumba (NSW) cowboy Ben Hall is heading across Bass Strait determined to win the bareback bronc ride at Lillico and boost his position in the standings. Hall is currently in eighth place in bareback bronc ride standings after leading for much of last season.
He has drawn the horse Redbanks at Lillico. The bareback bronc ride standings are led by Queensland star Deon Lane from South Australian ironman Tom Willoughby.
Rodeo program: February 16 – Lillico Rodeo, Tasmania, February 23 – Narrandera Rodeo, NSW, February 23 – Whittlesea Rodeo, Victoria, March 2 – Clare Rodeo, SA, March 2 – Sale Rodeo, Victoria, March 2 – Hay Rodeo, NSW, March 3 – Festival State Timed Events Rodeo, Clare, SA, March 8 – Kyabram Rodeo, Victoria, March 9 – Gowrie Park Rodeo, Tasmania, March 9: Merrijig Rodeo, Victoria, March 10: Chiltern Rodeo.