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27 April, 2015

QUEENSLAND RIDERS HEAD TO NSW

Photo of Michael Maher by Dave Ethell – www.dephotos.com.au

Photo of Jane Fay by Stephen Mowbray – www.stephenmowbrayphotography.com

 

 

 

STANDINGS leaders from Queensland and Victoria will head to Alstonville in New South Wales on Saturday (April 25) for the last rodeo of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association season.

While some riders are chasing points to ensure a top-15 finish and qualification for the Australian championships, others are aiming to finish the season on top of the standings to boost their chances in the championships.

Two standings leaders from Queensland, Michael Maher (Warwick) and Jane Fay (Warra), will be at Alstonville along with Victorian champion Lee Kimber from Lockington.

Maher will face tough opposition in the saddle bronc ride from fellow Warwick rider Mark Collins who is second on the standings and John McNamee from Millmerran in Queensland who is fourth.

It will be Queensland versus New South Wales in breakaway roping with current leader Jane Fay coming up against two-times champion Stephanie Gard from Tabletop (NSW).

Four of the top all around cowgirls in the nation will be at Alstonville, Gard, Cherie O’Donoghue (Lockington, Victoria), Wendy Caban (Moree, NSW) and Nichole Fitzpatrick (Willow Tree, NSW) and all will contest breakaway roping and barrel racing events.

O’Donoghue and Caban have won 15 APRA titles between them while Fitzpatrick is the current all around and barrel racing champion.

Victorian star Lee Kimber leads the steer wrestling standings in the APRA with only one rodeo to go in the season but won’t get it all his own way at Alstonville.

Two of his toughest competitors will come from opposite ends of the east coast, Shane Iker from Alton Downs in Central Queensland and Terry Evison from Willung in Victoria.

Iker won the all around cowboy title in the APRA last season and Evison is currently the all around standings leader.

There are 21 nominations for team roping, including two women, Caban and O’Donoghue.

Some couples have nominated in team roping, including Mark and Tamara Knox from Ebenezer near Ipswich. Mark has won all around and rope and tie titles in the APRA.

The top 15 in each APRA event after Alstonville will qualify for the Warwick Rodeo Australian Championships on October 22-25.

In a change to the format for the championships, riders will take one point for each dollar won during the season into the finals. The leaders will have the advantage but it will be possible for any of the top-15 to win titles with strong performances in the four rounds of the Australian championships.

APRA RODEO PROGRAM: April 25 Alstonville; May 23 Nebo; May 29 Bundaberg Show Rodeo; June 6-7 Bowen River; July 10 Emerald Bull Ride; July 10-11 Junior National Finals Rodeo at Emerald; July 11 Emerald Rodeo; July 18 Taroom; July 25 Richmond; July 31-August 1 Cloncurry Merry Muster Rodeo; August 7-9 Mt Isa Rotary Rodeo.



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