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Aussie cowboy fights jetlag to rack up points at rodeo


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Reading this, I thought of our RMers (Brissyger and a few others) who are from Australia. Every October, we have the Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo for a week (October 9 through 17). I had been bringing my son and his friends to the fair as they would meet with other friends at the Midway.


Hours before Sam Spreadborough rode 16 seconds on a bucking horse over the last two nights at the Heartland ProRodeo Championships, he was flying back to Texas from Australia, where he had to make an appearance at the embassy in Sydney to renew his sports visa.

Spreadborough, 28, had competed in as many rodeos as possible over the summer to try to boost his position in the standings. His hopes of qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December meant delaying the trip home as long as he could.

After the 2003 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rookie of the year won Tuesday night’s saddle bronc competition with a 79-point ride, he came back Wednesday with a 69-point ride and will compete tonight in the progressive round.

“I’m not too jet-lagged,” Spreadborough said. “Not as bad as yesterday anyway.”

Despite his efforts, his 31st-place world ranking leaves him out of the running for an NFR qualification.

Beaumont 39-year-old Darrell Petry came to Waco about $13,000 away from his first trip to the NFR since joining the PRCA in 1995.

After winning $1,886 Tuesday and $315 Wednesday night in the steer wrestling, Petry earned a spot in tonight’s progressive round.

The top 30 contestants who have competed in the Heartland Series rodeos in bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, team roping, tie-down roping and bull riding have been split into three groups of 10.

The top four from each group will compete at 7 tonight, and the top 10 of those 12 contestants will compete Friday. The top eight will compete Saturday in the semifinals and finals.

Petry, who manages a Salvation Army warehouse for his day job, said he is trying not to lose focus under all the pressure.

“My friends all have their tickets for NFR on hold,” he said. “I’m just trying to calm everything down. Part of this sport is just like gambling.”

For Petry, it will all come down to tonight.

In other rodeo action Wednesday, Colorado cowboy Tim Shirley won the night in the bareback riding with an 87-point ride.

South Carolina’s Luke Brown and Stephenville’s Martin Lucero won the team-roping in 4.9 seconds.

Frank Holliday captured first in the tie-down roping, and Beau Schroeder won the bull riding.

The field of athletes Wednesday included local cowboys Chad German of Groesbeck, Tommy Edens of Gatesville, Jake Brown of Hillsboro and Brent Lassetter of Elm Mott.

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