Wild ride for Wesley to reach number one
"IT'S nine years (this month) since his dad passed away and I'm pretty sure he has a guardian angel watching over him."
Those were Mel McDonald's words about her son, Wesley, a bucking young cowboy.
Wesley recently won round one of the National Finals Rodeo for the poddy calf riding event.
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The 12-year-old Federal State School student is third in the standings but has a chance to win the Average buckle for the finals.
Wesley is also leading the Gundy Pub bull riding series for the poddy calf event.
The finals will be held at Gundiah on December 16.
Wesley will hope results will fall his way after the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo at Toowoomba Cully Fest last night ahead of the final round in Caboolture next week.
Wesley said he thought he performed well in his most recent ride.
"My poddy ride was great, technique was good and made the buzzer, took out first place," he said.
"On my steer I could have sat up a bit more, still getting used to the larger stock, and I'm the second youngest in this event with the National Rodeo Association.
"Even though I bucked off it was still a good ride and my fellow competitors complimented my efforts.
"As soon as I heard I had won it was the best feeling in the world, great to hear the crowd clapping in support as well.
"In the finals if you win an event you do a victory lap on a horse; I'm not much of a horse rider and I'm pretty sure that was obvious."
Wesley also qualified for steer riding in the finals but after one rank ride he bucked off just before the eight-second mark.
He trains on a "bucking drum" set up in his shed, which is attached to ropes his mother pulls back and forth to buck him off.
He is now aiming for sponsorship to aid him in winning overall, which is assessed when all points are added up for the year.
He is in third place because he has been unable to afford to attend each round of the competition.
"As I don't get to attend every single rodeo I won't be able to catch the leader, Nash Jones, in the poddy calf event," Wesley said.
"I do have a chance at the average buckle for the finals though.
"I'm also leading the Gundy Pub Series and looking forward to the finals on December.
"Big thanks to the Gundy Pub for my sponsorship this season."