Cowboys third at World Cup
THE best we’ve ever had.
That is one way to describe Dave Kennedy and his team of Australian cowboys who landed third place at the Professional Bull Riders World Cup in Las Vegas, Nevada over the weekend.
The result was, simply, the best Australia has ever had.
Two fifths and a fourth had been the Aussies’ previous return, leaving former World Champion and Australian captain Troy Dunn hopeful for the future.
“With the experience they’ve gained here, where they’ve had a sniff of victory, I reckon they’ll be able to give things a real shake in next year’s World Cup,” Dunn said.
Brazil’s all-star team dominated the final day of the event to steal top-spot on the podium from two-time defending champions United States, while Canada and Mexico finished fourth and fifth.
Brazil’s win included the highest ever total score and biggest winning margin after the team rode a combined 15 bulls from 30 attempts.
The Australian team’s most experienced member, Brendon Clark of Morpeth, NSW, got his team off to a flyer by covering two bulls to have them in second place after day one.
But the riders basically took turns in covering a bull in each round with Kennedy unable to open his account until the fifth round of six.
The 26-year-old from Kyogle secured Australia’s podium finish with an 88.00 ride on a bull named Larry the Cable Guy’s Smokey.
Proud of his men, Captain Dunn said that although they were more than 13,000km from home, the Aussie spirit was running strong within the team. “We had a team meeting on Thursday night where the boys made a pact to ride for each other and really work together as a team,” he said.
Dunn said that the format of the championship was something quite unique to the sport but that his men adapted well.
“Bull riding is an individual sport so these fellas usually compete against each other rather than combining to defeat another nation, but they showed true Aussie courage and mateship and did the green and gold proud,” he said.
As an individual Dave Kennedy is currently ranked 59 worldwide on the Built Ford Tough Series and needs to move into the top 40 to cement his spot on the tour.
His next chance to climb the rankings comes at this weekend’s Nile Invitational in Billings, Montana.
In further PBR news, all six of Australia’s team riders – Kennedy, Clark, Ben Jones, Jason O’Hearn and brothers Pete and Jared Farley – have been confirmed to ride in the 2010 PBR World Challenge Series which kicks off in Townsville on May 21 before moving to Brisbane and then Sydney for the final.