All Anna Crisp could do was watch on nervously.
After three nights of intense competition at the Australian Bushmen's Campdraft and Rodeo Association's National Finals, the Tamworth cowgirl's hopes of winning her second All-Round Cowgirl national title buckle had come down to this.
If Hunta Gallacher could stop the clock in under 18 seconds in her final barrel race run, she could snatch it from her.
But to Crisp's relief and delight, the West Australian was just outside the time to pick up a place.
After leading Gallacher by a point heading into the finals, she was trailing by a point going into Saturday night.
"I have never felt so much pressure in my whole life," she said afterwards.
"I needed to at least win money in either the steer undecorating or breakaway.
"The steer undecorating, I was too slow, so I had to win money in the breakaway. Thankfully I did."
She placed second, which put her back into the lead and meant Gallacher had to be third or better in the barrel race.
"It's very satisfying and makes it all worthwhile," Crisp said of being crowned the best cowgirl in the country again.
"But it was a race to the end. But that's what rodeo is all about."
Wade McCarthy had a bit of an easier time as he was crowned the All-Round Cowboy, the West Australian also adding the bull ride national title.
As she did when she won the all-around title for the 2019 season, Crisp also picked up the breakaway roping champion buckle. After enjoying a dominant season with Chex R All I Know, or 'Diego' as he is commonly known, the 23-year-old already had that well and truly sewn up.
She won almost triple the prizemoney of her nearest rival.
Crisp attributes a big part of her success to Diego. Named the breakaway roping horse of the year for the last four years, he is her "secret weapon" despite his "very naughty" tendencies.
"He's a trickster," she said.
"But he knows his job, and he helped me out tonight."
"I just had to make a solid run. I had to be better than a 4.5 (seconds)."
She was more than a second-and-a-half under that, making the catch in 2.84.
"I actually took another swing off my calf's back to make sure I roped it," she said.
Crisp has been starring on the breakaway roping scene since she was a junior, winning the finals average for the juniors on multiple occasions and qualifying for her first senior finals when she was only 17.
Rodeoing pretty much all of her life, her mum, Marie, is a former national champion in barrel racing and breakaway roping, and her dad, Rodney, in bull riding.
After two years of no finals, she said it was great to be back.
A financial administrator for the cattle transport company Stockmaster, she even had a few work colleagues come out for the final round to cheer her on.
"The last three nights, the crowds have been amazing, and the support from Tamworth has been phenomenal," she said.
The local fans had plenty to cheer about with Katina Matthews crowned the national champion for the barrel racing, Lachlan Smith the team roping heeler champion, Jayden Blacker the saddle bronc champion, bull rider-turned-jockey Braith Nock riding his way to the rookie and finals aggregate titles, Adam Maher topping the points for the finals in the rope and tie and Phillipa Leys winning the aggregate in the breakaway roping.
Maher's wife Sophie meanwhile won the rookie title in the steer undecorating and former Tamworth local Josh Rindfleish the rope and tie, while Willow Tree cowgirl Sallie Pilgrim was the all-round cowgirl for the finals and steer undecorating finals champion, after winning the first two rounds.
Moree's Wendy Caban also had a great final clean sweeping the barrel racing round honours.
Former Tamworth and now Willow Tree cowboy Clint Class also thrilled the crowd with his 80.5 ride to win the final round of the bull ride.
All-Round Cowboy: Wade McCarthy
All Round Cowgirl: Anna Crisp
Bareback: Travis Heeb, Runner-up - Gerard Overby
Barrel Race: Katina Matthews and 'Filthy Rich N Famous', Runner-up - Hunter Gallacher and 'Slyder'
Breakaway Roping: Anna Crisp and 'Chex R All I Know', Runner-up - Shawn Chape and 'Rio'
Bull Ride: Wade McCarthy, Runner-up - Chris Wilson
Rope and Tie: Clay Bush, Runner-up - Mark Maxwell and 'Buddy'
Saddle Bronc: Jayden Blacker, Runner-up - Ben Rasmussen
Steer Undecorating: Michelle Potter and 'Chilli', Runner-up - Nichole Fitzpatrick and 'Kohldice'
Steer wrestling: Jock Bone-Langdon and 'Cruza', Runner-up - Glen Chape and 'Brody.'
Team Roping Header: Brady Smith, Runner-up - Campbell Hodson
Team Roping Heeler: Lachlan Smith, Runner-up - Dylan Ruff
All-Round Cowboy - Clay Bush
All Round Cowgirl - Sallie Pilgrim
Bareback: Travis Heeb, Runner-up - Gerard Oversby
Barrel Race: Wendy Caban and 'Jay Lo Working', Runner-up - Tylen Gibb and 'Traditional Ramses'
Breakaway Roping: Phillipa Leys and 'Tear It Up', Runner-up - Caitlin Harris and 'Freddy'
Bull Ride: Braith Nock, Runner-up - Trefor Sproule
Rope and Tie: Adam Maher and 'Rough Blue Diamond', Runner-up - Josh Rindfleish and 'Pep Daddy'
Saddle Bronc: Micheal Johnston, Runner-up - Luke Morgan
Steer Undecorating: Sallie Pilgrim and 'BFP Bank Fulo Rednecks', Runner-up - Nichole Fitzpatrick and 'Kohldice'
Steer Wrestling: Wes Cox and 'Pronga', Runner-up - Tim Richardson and 'Jet'
Team Roping Header: Campbell Hodson, Runner-up - Ben Smith
Team Roping Heeler: Clay Bush, Runner-up - Kai Clark
All Round Cowboy - Isaac LeClair, All Round Cowgirl - Jolene Kallus, Bareback - Kit Le Lievre, Barrel Race - Tammy Cooper and 'Rio', Breakaway Roping - Sophie Maher and 'Playboy Barrister', Bull Ride - Braith Nock, Rope and Tie - Josh Rindfleish and 'Pep Daddy', Saddle Bronc - Cody Brennan, Steer Undecorating - Emma Thompson and 'Eddie', Team Roping Header - Trey Gallacher, Team Roping Heeler - Troy Lomax
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