The Stockinbingal property of Janice and Tom Smith was a hive of activity over the weekend as they hosted the latest round of the Golden Triangle team roping.
Approximately 30 competitors made their way from all over the state and across Victoria to compete for points in the ATRA (Australasian Team Roping Association) event.
Team roping involves pairs (either male, female, two males, two females) on horseback chasing down a steer.
The ‘header’ ropes the horns, then dallies or wraps his/her rope around his saddle horn and turns the steer to for the ‘heeler’ who ropes the heels.
There is country music playing, times broadcast over a microphone at each run and plenty of social chatter throughout the day.
A campoven dinner on the Saturday night added to a weekend of fun on horseback.
When in the saddle however, the cowboys and cowgirls were all business with their eyes on the points they could accumulate in the series.
Present in Stockinbingal was 12-year-old Clayton Skinner from Tooraweenah in central west NSW.
He began riding about five years ago after asking a local couple who team roped if they could teach him.
Clayton hasn’t looked back and now travels the state with the couple competing on weekends.
He won his first buckle a fortnight ago during his home team roping event at the Tooraweenah Team Roping Rockin’ W Ranch Series.
“I was thrilled,” Clayton said.
He prefers to be the header in the team and said the key to a successful run and a good time is to “concentrate and have fun”.
While the experts are doing runs in about 4.5 seconds, Clayton is progressing well achieving around the 11 second mark.
Clayton is currently leading the northern region in the number six headers and is also making waves on the barrel racing circuit.
He is running second in the 8-12 years barrels.
Janice was pleased by the turnout over the weekend.
The Golden Triangle of events also take in Griffith and Mildura.
“We have a lot of fun; we (Tom and I) have been hosting this event for seven years,” Janice said.
As well as hosting the weekend, the couple also compete.
We have a lot of fun; we have been hosting this event for seven years.Janice Smith