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Thursday, February 24, 2005
Pipe Dreams

By Mike Spence
PSN Editor

Alan Bandy splits his time between pipeline work in Canada and competing in rodeo. It's a choice between hard physical labor, often performed in sub-zero temperatures, or riding rank saddle broncs in front of cheering fans.

It's not hard to figure out which one he prefers.

"Every year I start out going to rodeos, but eventually, I end up going home and going to work to pay the bills," Bandy said. "I end up on the pipeline."

Maybe 2005 will be the year Bandy finally doesn't have to make that choice any longer.

The 27-year-old Australian-raised cowboy, who now makes his home in Wainwright, Alberta, produced the biggest win of his ProRodeo career at the San Antonio Livestock Show & Rodeo — the third stop on the Wrangler ProRodeo Winter Tour — rolling to the saddle bronc riding aggregate title and checks worth $10,135.

With money like that in his pocket, Bandy will be able to hit the ProRodeo road longer and harder than he had planned. Maybe this will be the year Bandy makes a run at the coveted Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He came close once, in 2003 when he finished 29th in the world standings.

"I drew three good horses (in San Antonio). I was fortunate," Bandy said. "I had a good rodeo and for sure it's got to help my confidence."

I drew three good horses (in San Antonio). I was fortunate. I had a good rodeo and for sure it's got to help my confidence.
Alan Bandy>

Bandy's performance in the Wrangler Tour round was especially encouraging. He drew Kesler's Royal Visit and not only posted an 82-point ride that secured the biggest win of his career, he also gained a measure of revenge.

"I drew her as a colt four years ago," Bandy said of Royal Visit. "She bucked me off. She was pretty good this time. I could have ridden her better."

Bandy's effort on Royal Visit came after he produced an 82-point ride on Calgary's Papa Smurf in the first round and an 84-point effort on Andrews Rodeo's Snort in the second round. He finished with a three-head total of 248 points.

As good as Bandy's season has been so far — he's ranked in the Top 15 in the Jack Daniel's World Standings for the first time in his career — it could have been better. Entries for RodeoHouston closed before San Antonio and Bandy didn't enter because he figured he'd "be out of money."

Bandy also had a chance to make a run at another big payday on the Wrangler Winter Tour in San Angelo after drawing a horse that fellow Aussie Anthony Bello said, "was the rankest horse he'd ever seen in his life." But Bandy bucked off that horse.

Bandy had one last stop on his winter ProRodeo run — in Tucson. Then it was back home. If he had cash in his pocket, he would rest up for a run at some spring rodeos. If not, it was probably back to work on the pipeline.

It's a choice Bandy hopes one day he won't have to make any more. ProRodeo Sports News is published bi-weekly by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. For more information or to subscribe, contact them by clicking here.