Former Australian rodeo saddle bronc champion Glen Kent tasted first up success in his first rodeo appearance in three years at the Merbein Rodeo on Saturday night.
Sponsored by the local Tyre power operation, Kent, a former farrier and now race horse trainer, dodged an Adelaide thoroughbred meeting to ride at Merbein where he won the $1500 first prize in the open saddle bronc ride.
Kent’s wife Renee Kent also competed in the barrel racing and finished third behind the winner Julie Breed and Hayley Rogers of South Australia..
Kent left early Sunday morning to catch up with his race team which were engaged in the last two races on what had become a slow track at Strathalbyn.
He had two runners with a third and a fifth placing for the day.
The big winner was Ben Gard from Table Top NSW who won the $3000 open Bull Ride sponsored by Merbein Mushrooms and Halls Memorials.
Gard also received the Noela Crosbie Memorial Buckle.
The winner of the second division Bull ride was Jack Woodall, who recently returned from American High school rodeo competitions while the junior saddle bronc ride went to James Sclanders of Warrnambool.
The bareback winner was Cody Tyrell of Echuca, while the junior barrel race was taken out by Dana Johnson of Maffra.
The Merbein Community Rodeo Committee President Jeff Muller said Saturday nights event had been the best ever with a great line up of competitors, animals along with good weather.
“We have worked hard over the past 12 months to improve our facilities – we have a fence right around the rodeo grounds, have two permanent grandstands and a permanent Mulla Mulla Bar,” he said.
“While we have a small committee and are always chasing new members we do acknowledge the great community support we get on the day,” he said.
The Merbein is one about a dozen licensed rodeo events in the State of Victoria each year. South Australia has around half a dozen annually while Tasmania will have eight rodeo's in 2018.
The rodeo circuilt remains prolicic in NSW and Queensland.