APRA finals kick off
CAMERON Webster, Clay Bush and Roy Dunn will be three of the toughest to beat when the Warwick Rodeo APRA National Finals are held this week.
Final rounds were held on Wednesday and Thursday with another tonight (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday).
Second division and junior finals will be on Sunday.
Webster hails from Wandoan in Queensland and goes into the national finals in saddle bronc as the pro tour winner but will still need to place well in Warwick this week to win the championship buckle.
Riders are given credit for prizemoney won on the pro tour so the leaders going into the finals have the advantage but a rider who places in four rounds and has one or two wins will go close to winning a title regardless of their position in the standings.
At the start of the finals on Wednesday, Webster led in saddle bronc from Rosewood (NSW) cowboy Tim Hammond and Queensland rider Cody Angland.
In the rope and tie, pro tour winner Clay Bush, of Yass (NSW), led from Emerald pair Campbell Hodson and Shane Kenny.
Hodson is the current all around titleholder and Kenny is the most successful cowboy in APRA history.
Bush also leads total prizemoney won and will be chasing his first championship buckle in all around cowboy.
Proserpine cowboy Roy Dunn is ranked No.1 going into the national finals of the bull ride.
Last year’s winner Jack McArthur rode two of his four bulls to win the title but has not qualified this year.
Tasmanian rider Kyle Maskiell is ranked second in the standings.
One bull rider to watch will be Yeppoon star Brady Fielder who was second in last year’s national finals while still at school.
Young (NSW) cowboy Ben Thorp is ranked No.10 but can easily move to the lead if he scores on his four bulls.
Katherine (NT) bull rider Darcy McBean won the 2016 APRA championship buckle and is a strong chance again despite going into the bull ride finals ranked 12th in a field of 15.
Charters Towers cowboy Ryley Gibb leads the standings in steer wrestling from Queensland pair Shane Kenny and Jace Land.
Victorian rider Lee Kimber, of Lockington, is in fourth place in his best event, steer wrestling, but is also a good chance for the all around title as he will compete in three timed events.
He is placed fifth in team roping heeler standings and 12th in the rope and tie going into the national finals.
SADDLE BRONCS: Cameron Webster on Young Gun.