2015 NATIONAL BRONCO BRANDING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Oodnadatta was certainly the place to be on the weekend of July 17th and 18th as the township played host to the National Bronco Branding Championships. Oodnadatta Racing and Horse Sports, Oodnadatta Bronco Branding and the local community know how to put on a good show, right down to the perfect weather conditions that prevailed for both days.
Proceedings got under way on Friday afternoon, with the steer ride, a perennial favourite with the crowd and the young cowboys who believe they have what it takes to ride a 500kg steer bareback for at least 6 seconds. Ten riders pitted their skills, with seven making time. Justin Nunn from Port Augusta took out first place, Olly Peel from Hamilton Station came second, with Peter Morgan from Macumba Station coming in third place. The steer ride was sponsored by Smulders Contracting, Altona Energy and The Pink Roadhouse.
Following the steer ride, guests enjoyed some good outback hospitality at the meet and greet, with a sausage sizzle and bar facilities in the clubrooms. The cold night later saw many groups gathered around the camp fires at their camping sites around the race course, before calling it a night ready for the Bronco Branding Spectacular set to unfold the following morning.
At 8 am on Saturday the serious business of Bronco Branding was underway. Teams had travelled from all around the state, from Queensland and the Northern Territory.
The first event, sponsored by Outback Communities Authority, Todmorden Station, Teys Australia, Coober Pedy IGA and Greatbatch Agencies, was the Novice Bronco Branding, in which 16 teams competed. Patrick Williams, who grew up at Mt Barry Station and now lives in Adelaide, along with his team “Paddy William” came first with a time of 4 minutes and 8.66 seconds (4:08.66). In second place, with a time of 4:09.03 (just 0.37 seconds behind), came Richard “Mulga” Nunn from Port Augusta with his team called Mulga. Willoughby Way, with Bill Willoughby from Booleroo Centre as catcher came in third, in a time of 4:11.66
The Open Singles followed, with a strong field of 20 teams, including five interstate teams. Some very slick times were recorded in the first round. The top six teams: The Contractors, Adam Litchfield, Mt Cavanagh, Mt Barry, Ian Litchfield and B41, progressed to the finals. In the finals, the teams are required to catch, rope and mark a further three calves. The times of both rounds are added to realise the eventual winner. The Contractors, from Queensland, with Peter Kleinschmidt as catcher, had a combined score of 5:50.50 to gain the title as National Singles Bronco Branding Champions. Just 2.45 seconds behind them, with a time of 5:53.35 was B41 with Bully Booth from Murnpeowie Station as catcher, and in third place was Adam Litchfield from Mundowdna Station, with a time of 6:36.08. Oz Minerals and Williams Cattle Company sponsored this event.
The Doubles Bronco Branding, with two catchers trying to rope five calves as quickly as possible, was fast and exciting. B41, Cam and Alan, Territory Tigers, Myal Contractors, Mt Barry and Macumba were the top six teams out of the field of 12 teams that went into the finals. The National Doubles Bronco Branding Champion team is Macumba, with Eddie Nunn and Greg Warren Snr as catchers. Their combined time for the two rounds was 7:24.82. Snapping at their heels in second place was the B41 team with Bully Booth and Mick Bischel as catchers, their time being 7:27.21. That is a margin of only 2.39 seconds. The Myal Contractors, with Peter Kleinschmidt and Mal Debney from Longreach as catchers came third in a time of 7:30.98. This event was sponsored by Lambina Station, Thomas Foods International, Isa Diesel, Landmark Balaklava and Kerin Landmark Rural
At the conclusion of the day’s events, a sumptuous meal was served, followed by the presentations and a lively auction that saw aggressive bidding for the many interesting donated items. Dancing to live music and chatting with friends over a quiet drink drew the proceedings to a fitting close.
About 300 people attended the National Bronco Branding championships in Oodnadatta. Over $14,000 in cash and prizes was won by the competitors. We thank everyone for coming along, the hard working committee and volunteers who make it happen and especially our generous sponsors. Each year, the committee makes signifcant donations to charities such as RFDS and the Cancer Council from the proceeds of the events.
If you would like to know more about this uniquely Australian competition, go to our websites www.broncobrandingsa.com.au and www.oodnadattaraceclub.org.au Or, travel to Quorn on August 15th or William Creek on August 22nd to experience it all first hand.
Next year’s National Championships will be held in Mt Isa.