A BUCK SHORT: McLennan takes on the big boys
RODEO: Grafton Ghosts hardman Ben McLennan handled the pressure of going last to out-point teammate and new captain-coach Danny Wicks in the King of the River Super League Challenge.
But it was in serious competition that McLennan impressed. Having prevailed on the steers with a 69-point ride, McLennan lined up one of the big beasts in the Novice Bull Ride, and fell a buck short of a successful ride.
"The boys at work were geeing me up, telling me I was soft and a bit scared. So I told them if they pay the nomination fee I'll have a ride," McLennan said before the ride.
"These bulls are way out of my league though."
Come ride time, the bull came out hard from the gate, and McLennan stayed with it through a series of tight turns and bucks.
With the crowd behind him, and the encouragement of the cowboys in the background, at the 6.5 second mark he was pushed the wrong way and came crashing down.
The ride was one of the longer ones in the novice competition on a night when the bulls delivered a series of brutal rejections.
McLennan said he was happy to defend his King of the River title, though admitted feeling pressure.
"I was last one out, and the bar was pretty high - so I had to make sure I stuck on there," he said.
"Full credit to everyone who got out there. It's something we look forward to each year, to raise money for charity and if we help get people through the gate, that's the idea."