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09 October, 2014

JESSE TOWNSEND GEARS UP FOR WARWICK

AFTER winning successive titles at the Warwick Rodeo in team roping in 2008-2009, Calvert cowboy Jesse Townsend will return on October 23-26 in quest of a third victory.

The cowboy lives five minutes down the road from Ebenezer rider and past Australian Professional Rodeo Association all around champion Mark Knox and recalls driving for a practice session with Knox the first day he secured a driver’s license.

Now five years later, Townsend is the reigning APRA team roping champion with Victorian star Terry Evison.

This season, he has linked with Emerald rider Grant Hanrahan to lead the standings after five months of the season.

Townsend, 22, and Hanrahan won the first round at Mt Isa in August and finished third in the average. Townsend was third in steer wrestling.

His two team roping wins in Warwick were as a teenager. He combined with Ross Ballard, of Karrabin, to win in 2008 and then with Grantham rider Steve Augustin in 2009.

Two years later, Townsend and Mt Tarampa junior Thomas Whitwell finished runners-up in the open. While Townsend has predominately been the header in team roping, his runner-up finish with Whitwell was as the heeler.

He can’t wait to arrive in Warwick and compete in the three cowboys timed events, especially with the long laneway for the riders.

“The longer laneway suits me better and brings everyone back to the pack,” he said.

“Warwick is the rodeo where I have won the most money and is only about an hour from my place.”

Townsend won the national title in May with Evison so has the ability to mix it with the best in the shorter run-up which is primarily used in the APRA.

He attributes his success in the sport to the help and encouragement from three people, his father Gene Hingst, former bareback rider and current comedy clown Frank Green and Knox.

Townsend said his best event was team roping but he was keen to also perform well in the rope and tie and steer wrestling.

“I have been roping for 16 years and reckon the most improvement can be in steer wrestling as I have only been doing the event for four years,” he said.

He travelled to America at the age of 16 as part of the Australian high school rodeo team.

“It was an unbelievable experience to compete in America, a real eye opener,” he said.

 

 

  APRA PROGRAM: October 23-26 Warwick (Qld); October 31-November 1 Jimna Bull Ride (Qld); November 15 Kapunda (SA); November 22 Narrabri (NSW); November 28 Bundaberg (Qld). More information from APRA on 07 4661 8183

 

 



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