|MOREE SHOW RODEO, NSW||APRIL 28||ENTRY DATES: April 19/20|
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The Australian Professional Rodeo Association has a new home for the National Finals Rodeo for the next three years! Click here to view the full article
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NATIONAL FINALS PRESS RELEASE
THE best of the best will be in Warwick on October 27-30 for The Carlton Dry Warwick Rodeo National Finals.
For the first time in almost a century, there is a naming rights sponsor for the Warwick Rodeo following a five-year deal between Carlton United Breweries and the Warwick Show and Rodeo Committee.
The National Finals will be held over four rounds, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon.
The top-15 in each of the eight championship events have qualified for the finals.
Last year, Emerald cowboy Shane Kenny won four title buckles, All Around Cowboy, Rope and Tie, Steer Wrestling and Team Roping – Header.
With three variables in rodeo, rider, horse and beast, it is a big ask for Kenny to win all his events again.
He will find it tougher to win the All Around as he did not qualify for Steer Wrestling but plenty of cowboys have won titles with places in two events down the years.
Kenny has 35 APRA title buckles to his credit and is in form going on his performance in July at Emerald when he joined with Brendan Kenny, of Clermont, to set a new APRA team roping record of 3.9 seconds.
Riders will go into the finals with carry over points from the Pro Tour season but the points system is designed so even the 15th rider on the standings can win a title with outstanding performances in all four rounds. Last year, all the titles went to the best performers at the finals.
There will be second-division and junior events at the Warwick Rodeo as well as the national finals.
The Warwick Rodeo is expected to attract a crowd of 30,000 and two more grandstands will be covered in time for the rodeo.
The shortest-priced favourite at Warwick in any event will be Warwick Saddle Bronc rider Michael Maher who won a third successive title at the Mt Isa Rodeo.
Maher won with a score of 150 from reigning Australian Professional Rodeo Association titleholder Brad Pierce, of Tooma, New South Wales, and Millmerran (Qld) rider John McNamee who split second with a two-round score of 144.
After three Mt Isa wins and one at the Warwick Rodeo, Maher has won four of the past five saddle bronc rides at the two biggest rodeo in the APRA, Mt Isa and Warwick.
Fred Osman from Tibooburra in north west New South Wales shared the Bareback title at Mt Isa with David Worsfold, of Wandoan (Qld). They finished with a two-round score of 156 after Osman won round 1 and Worsfold the final.
The bulls proved too good for most of the riders in the final of the Bull Ride at Mt Isa with only Alton Downs (Qld) cowboy Jared Borghero riding time. Jared scored 81 for equal second in round 1 and 86 in the final for a runaway win in the aggregate. Round 1 winner Roy Dunn, of Proserpine, was second overall.
Jared’s brother Jay was equal third in the open Bull Ride and won the second division bull ride.
In timed events, Scone (NSW) rider Heath Nichols won the Rope and Tie with a two-round time of 18.8 seconds from Ebenezer (Qld) cowboy Mark Knox with a time of 20.45. Alton Downs (Qld) young gun Jordan Iker was .1 of a second behind Knox.
Caboolture (Qld) cowboy Lachlan O’Neill won the Steer Wrestling from Clermont (Qld) rider Jamie Reynolds.
In Team Roping, Central Queensland pair Shane Kenny and Cameron Milner were victorious in the aggregate with 18.1 seconds.
Jamie Downing, of Emerald (Qld) was first in the Open Barrel race with a two-round time of 35.253 seconds, .03 ahead of Murrurundi (NSW) rider Jo Caldwell.
Emerald (Qld) cowgirl Leanne Caban won the Breakaway Roping with a first in round 1 and a second in the final. Milner and Caldwell won the all around titles at Mt Isa.
For the second year running, Roma (Qld) rider Teal Ayers won an APRA Junior All Around title at the Junior National Finals at Emerald. She was first in the All Around this year after winning two titles last year.
Montana O’Toole of Gracemere (Qld) won this year’s Barrel Racing Junior Title while Riverslea (Vic) cowboy Dylan Richardson was the champion in Steer Riding and Ty Pokarier, of Westwood (Qld) the best in Breakaway Roping.
National Finals Top Chances
All Around Cowboy - Top three in standings – Terry Evison (Vic), Lee Kimber (Vic), Errol Frain (Qld): One to watch: Shane Kenny (Qld) is in fifth place in the standings and only in two events but has form on the board. Evison and Kimber have qualified in three events.
Saddle Bronc – Top three – John McNamee (Vic), Greg Hamilton (Qld), Peter Moffatt (Vic): One to watch: Michael Maher (Qld) won for the third time in succession at Mt Isa which makes his favourite despite being sixth in the standings.
Bull Ride – Top three – Jason O’Hearn (NSW), Ben Thorp (NSW), Mitch Paton (Qld): One to watch: Last year’s winner Troy Wilkinson comes into the finals in sixth spot but O’Hearn is a past winner and will take some catching at the finals.
Bareback – Top three – Ben Hall (Vic), Parrish May (Qld), Cody Tyrrell (Vic). One to watch: The top-three start as favourites but last year’s winner Dave Worsfold from Wandoan has plenty of international experience and is a strong chance.
Rope and Tie – Top three – Shane Kenny (Qld), Lee Kimber (Vic), Terry Evison (Vic): One to watch: Scone auctioneer Heath Nichols is a big event performer and won at Mt Isa but you would be a game tipster to go against Kenny.
Steer Wrestling – Top three - Errol Frain (Qld), Terry Evison (Vic), Shane Iker (Qld): One to watch: Lee Kimber is fifth in the standings in what many rate as his best event. Frain won twice as much money as the next best on the pro tour so is a red hot favourite.
Team Roping Header – Top three – Terry Evison (Vic), Clancy Middleton (Qld), Heath Litchfield (Qld): One to watch: Shane Kenny is the defending champion and sixth in the standings but this could be the year for Hughenden cowboy Clancy Middleton.
Team Roping Heeler – Aaron Bookluck (Vic), Corey Heath (NSW), Cameron Milner (Qld): One to watch: Brendan Kenny has some ground to make up from ninth but holds the APRA record with Shane Kenny. Milner was a winner at Mt Isa.
All Around Cowgirl: Top three – Stephanie Gard (NSW), Cherie O’Donoghue (Vic), Shianne O’Donoghue-Kent (Vic). One to watch: Lockyer Valley rider Cheyenne Whitwell goes into the finals 10th in barrel racing and 12th in Breakaway Roping but is one to watch in the All Around Cowgirl.
Barrel Race: Top three – Shianne O’Donoghue-Kent (Victoria), Stephanie Gard (NSW), Adele Edwards (NSW). One to watch: Murrurindi (NSW) cowgirl Jo Caldwell won the all around at Mt Isa and goes into the finals seventh in Barrel Racing standings.
Breakaway Roping: Top three – Elley Hulls (Vic), Cherie O’Donoghue (Vic), Stephanie Gard (NSW). One to watch: Past winner Wendy Caban is sixth going in the finals and is only in one event so can focus totally on her roping. Last year’s winner Cherie O’Donoghue will be one to watch.
Mt Isa Open Aggregate winners: Saddle Bronc – Michael Maher (Warwick, Qld); Bull Ride – Jared Borghero (Alton Downs, Qld); Bareback Bronc ride – Fred Osman (Tibooburra, NSW) and David Worsfold (Wandoan, Qld); Rope and Tie – Heath Nichols (Scone, NSW) ; Steer Wrestling – Lachlan O’Neill (Caboolture, Qld); Team Roping – Shane Kenny (Emerald, Qld) and Cameron Milner (Rockhampton, Qld); Barrel Racing – Jamie Downing (Emerald, Qld); Breakaway Roping – Leanne Caban (Emerald, Qld).