Man?s best rodeo friend

By ADAM HICKS

THE bull ride is 70kg of man versus 1000kg of dynamite.

When man loses the battle they send in the dogs.

At the Bangalow Rodeo on Saturday night they sent in Cheeky and Ellie.

The kelpie pair became favourites among the 900-stong crowd at the showgrounds as they repeatedly rounded-up and brought in the beasts the clowns couldn't budge.

"When the bulls won't come out of the ring, they go in," said M & M Rodeo owner Allan Morton.

"The crowd like them. I just hope they do their job.

"They work as a team. One distracts the bull while the other runs in and bites his heels. Hopefully he moves on."

They had their work cut out for them with Finger Food.

"Once he's bucked, his time is over. It's time to come in," Mr Morton said.

But the raging black bull wouldn't budge after he bucked Kyogle rider Nathan Gilliland.

He hoofed dirt over kids sitting close to the fence and charged at a barrel.

Then Cheeky and Ellie came in.

"We get them out as quick as possible to keep the entertainment flowing for the crowd," Mr Morton said.

"The dogs know what to do. I give them a whistle to send them in and a whistle to bring them back to me."

The pair worked fast. Finger Food tried to bully them, but they were way too fast. Working in tandem, nipping and dodging, they moved the beast around the ring and pushed him out the back.

"The bulls aren't scared of them. They're a little annoying and they constantly irritate the bulls and make them move on," Mr Morton said.

Just in case Cheeky and Ellie failed, Wally and Mo were tied to a truck on standby.



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