Buck jumper: Gympie bare back rider Ashley Clem hangs on at The Widgee Bushman’s Carnival yesterday.
Buck jumper: Gympie bare back rider Ashley Clem hangs on at The Widgee Bushman’s Carnival yesterday. Craig Warhurst

Cowboys hold on for wild rodeo

IT was a wild long weekend for local cowboys Ashley Clem and Keeland Alexander, the pair spending their three days braving bucking bulls and broncos at no less than four rodeos.

Yesterday the pair was trying to hold on for eight seconds and win prize money at the Widgee Bushman’s Carnival after competing in rodeos at Kingaroy, Dayboro and Hatton Vale.

The large amount of rodeos on offer reduced the number of competitors at the Widgee event with only two open bull riders turning up for the early round. By the afternoon a host of cowboys had turned up to the Widgee sportsground to take on the bulls in the second round of action.

17-year-old Gympie State High School student Keeland Alexander and 25-year-old Ashley Clem were psyched for their rides.

Alexander was competing in the junior bull ride while Clem was ready to jump on anything he could after getting a third place in Dayboro.

He competed in the bull, bare back and saddle bronc

“I am only planning on one result – first in all three,” Clem laughed.

Clem has been in the rodeo game since he was eight and even a broken neck after a fall in the 2005 Mt Isa rodeo couldn’t stifle his enthusiasm for the sport.

“I broke little bits off three vertebrae in my neck – I was supposed to be out for 12 months, but entered a rodeo after six and won. It’s not if you get injured, it is when,” he said.

Alexander has been competing for two years and has already broken an arm.

“It is a lot of fun and exciting,” he said

“It is the best fun you can have with your clothes on,” Clem laughed.

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