'Rookie' beats out his rivals
HE COMPETED in just his third team penning event but there was no doubting Luke Murphy's domination at Alstonville Showground on Sunday.
Murphy's team The Charges won the Northern Rivers Team Penners Association's third event after he penned three head of cattle in just 42 seconds - a club record.
Murphy, from Cedars Point between Casino and Kyogle won the event easily alongside his father David and mates Luke Phelps and James Hobday.
The next nearest was Team Awesome another 42 seconds behind.
Murphy rounded out a busy day when he also picked up third and fourth place with two different teams both carrying the names of Team Hobday.
All up he had six rides as well as an extra ride in the jackpot round.
Despite being new to the sport, the 33-year-old was not fazed about doing the job in front of him.
Murphy and his teammates had to separate three colour-nominated cows from a herd of 30, muster and penn them in a small enclosure as quick as they could.
"That was only my third team penning event but I've always been around horses and cattle," he said.
"We breed horses and do some breaking in on our property.
"Dad has taught me a lot about cattle from a young age.
"All the guys on our team know each other well which helps because you can trust the fellow beside you."
There were 56 competitors all from the Northern Rivers that took to Alstonville for Sunday's meet and Murphy believes team penning's popularity is growing.
"I've seen more people at the events every time over the last three meetings," he said.
"Everyone congratulated me when I left and they were all so friendly."
Ben Lawrence from Skennars Head was the youngest competitor and he was voted rider of the day by all the committee members.