WA’s richest rodeo and its $40,000 prize pool attracted a crowd of more than 5000 to Boddington at the weekend, where WA bull rider Wade McCarthy showed his true grit to win the Open Bull Ride. The rodeo was organised by the Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association and was held on November 4, bringing some of the best local and Eastern States talent to the Stan Sherry Arena. WA Rodeo Queen Stef Clinch, who paraded the Australian flag for a lap around the arena during the grand entry performance, had the crowd on their feet for the start of the main event. There were many highlights during the 17-event rodeo with 495 competitive entries that included a range of roping, barrel racing and rough stock competitions for different age groups. Gingin cowboy Wade McCarthy brought his best effort to Boddington winning both the Bull Ride and Saddle Bronc competitions and named Boddington’s Champion Cowboy for the high point dual-wins after holding the title in 2005, 2016 and 2018. He was crowned ABCRA Champion Bullrider of Australia in 2014 and 2022 and was runner-up to the national All Round Cowboy title in 2022. McCarthy scored the highest points of the day riding bucking bull Honey Man for a 76-point win in the Bull Ride and earlier won the Barback riding bucking horse JT for 72 points. Both victories will favour his Australian national ranking to be named All Round Cowboy for 2023 — he’s presently ranked third on the ladder. McCarthy said his two rough stock draws at Boddington had “extreme bucking ability” to get top points from the judges. His son, Coby, 12, who competed in the World Championship Miniature Bull-riding Finals in the US in September — placing seventh — won the 11 to under 14 Junior Steer Ride at Boddington to maintain his national second place ranking in that event. Returning to the Bull Ride after several years absence, York cowboy Damon Metcalf placed second in his dedication ride to his late brother, Amos, who unexpectedly died last month. Metcalf’s son Tyrell, who plays footy for Swan Districts, also returned to the rodeo arena and placed runner-up in the Novice Bull Ride with Broome cowboy Jai Griffiths taking the win on a “good spinning bull”. The strong father and son combination was also moving along in the Team Roping event when Paul Casey and his son Cooper placed second to Tamworth’s best in Jackson Searle and Jackson Denning — the Eastern States pair teamed up for the win. Gingin cowboy Cody Brennan said he rodeo a “great bucking horse” in the Saddle Bronc Ride to take the win on 70 points. Queensland cowboy George Wheeler brought his top national standings to Boddington with a win in the Steer Wrestling in a time of 9.26 seconds with Muchea cowboy Dylan Ruff taking second place. Tamworth cowboy Joshua Rindfleish, who leading the national standings for the All Round Cowboy title, won the Rope and Tie competition at Boddington in a time of 13 seconds with Ruff placing second. In the Ladies Barrel Race with a field of 32 competitors, Bullsbrook cowgirl Hunta Gallacher sped the fastest around the barrels riding her horse It Wasn’t Me in a time of 18.429 seconds with WA cowgirl Amber Bowtell riding Cassidy Sundance Kid taking second place. In the ladies roping events of Steer Undecorating and Breakaway Roping, Bindoon’s Amanda Oversby and Darling Downs’ Melissa Maxwell were the quickest, respectively. Rodeo co-ordinator Stan Sherry said the 47th annual event had a sense of “build-up” for the 50th to take place in 2026. Rodeo announcer Paul Casey paid tribute to the other heroes of the bush — WA’s volunteer fire brigade who were risking their lives fighting nearby raging fires, asking the crowd to drive safely back home with several main road arteries closed.