Originally written by SIMON BAMPFIELD
THE 2003 Dartmoor Chute Out was the scene of an Australian bull riding record on Saturday night.
Garth Bachombe’s ride on Sugar Mix scored 92 points to equal the Australian record, with his ride having the big crowd excited.
Despite Bachombe’s great ride he had to settle for second place, with the more consistent Grant Wells taking out the major event.
The pair were part of the open division bull riding event, which was as entertaining as it gets in the country.
“It was excellent, probably as good a bull riding that you’ll see in Australia,” organiser Gavin Woodall said.
There were around 20 competitors entered in a very talented line-up in the open bull ride.
Normally the top 10 riders would progress to the short go section, however only five competitors managed scores so it was a shortened version of the second round and anyone could win it.
To gain a score riders have to stay on the bull for eight seconds.
The top five who went into the final were headed by favourite and 2002 Australian champion Wells.
After the first round Wells had the lead on 86 points followed by Steve Atkins and Lindsay Friend on 82.
After a disappointing first round Bachombe put himself back in the hunt with the Australian record ride to be on 161 points in the short go section.
Wells secured victory though with an awesome 90-point ride on Viking to total 176 points and take out the $5000 event.
Bachombe’s ride was good enough for second while Friend placed third, Atkins fourth and Gavin Woodall fifth.
In all there were 10 bulls ridden for the evening with the chute out’s “A team bulls” of Sugar Max, Viking and Mankind very powerful.
Spectators also had another huge event with the Keatley Livestock Challenge, bull Buffalo Brandenberg went up against Darren Brandenberg.
On this occasion the animal won with Darren staying on his ex-bull for around six seconds.
The second division bull ride proved to be just as popular as the open division with 17 hopefuls entering.
Des Carey proved too good for the 16 other entrants, taking out first place with a score of 68 points followed by Bill Carey on 54.
Portland’s Kristy McLean took out the barrel race, registering a time of 15.38 seconds.
Emma Bonner was second with 15.49 while Jenny Cormack came third in 15.99 and Keira King fourth on 20.31.
Brendan Bell took out the footballers’ steer ride with Nathan Pratt in second.
Organisers were happy with spectator numbers that turned out at the second annual chute out and also the smooth running of the event.
“It went off pretty well, there was about the same amount of people there as last year,” Woodall said.
“They all seemed to enjoy it, it would be pretty hard not to though with five Australian Champions there.”
After two exciting and entertaining events 2004 is sure to be another great spectacle for Dartmoor.