Fierce con­test in arena

Spec­ta­tors con­verge on NRCA na­tional fi­nals at Dalby

Dalby Herald - - SPORT - Ebony Graveur ebony.graveur@dal­by­her­ald.com.au

RODEO: Just one week af­ter the War­wick Rodeo, en­thu­si­asts en­joyed a week­end packed full of fierce com­pe­ti­tion and horse­play.

The Na­tional Rodeo Coun­cil of Aus­tralia held its na­tional rodeo fi­nals on Fri­day and Satur­day nights at the Dalby Show­grounds.

While no­body could de­scribe Fri­day evening as quiet, the sheer size of the crowd on Satur­day night as on­look­ers packed into the grand­stand dwarfed the open­ing night by com­par­i­son.

The event drew peo­ple from through­out the re­gion to wit­ness the best cow­girls and cowboys from Aus­tralia com­pete in var­i­ous cat­e­gories in the fi­nals.

Fi­nal­ists com­peted in cat­e­gories in­clud­ing – but not lim­ited to – the event best known as the most dan­ger­ous eight sec­onds in sports, bull rid­ing.

In ad­di­tion to bull rid­ing, con­tes­tants com­peted in bar­rel rac­ing, sad­dle bronc, bare­back, break­away rop­ing, rope and tie, steer wrestling and team rop­ing.

Matty Bee, from Toowoomba, who scored 85 points, was named cham­pion bull rider.

Michael Ma­her, from War­wick, took the ti­tle of cham­pion in the sad­dle­bronc cat­e­gory, scor­ing 76 points.

Scor­ing 74 points, Jack Kidd, from Up­per Hor­ton, in NSW, was de­clared cham­pion in the bare­back sec­tion.

NRCA chair­man Pat Staines said the cal­i­bre of com­peti­tors par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fi­nals in timed events had lifted in the past few years.

“We had some of the top com­peti­tors in the sport in­clud­ing Shane Kenny, Gra­ham Iker, Leanne Ca­ban and Cameron Web­ster,” Staines said.

Though it scaf­folds the event, sport was not the en­tirety of the two-day shindig.

“Fam­ily events are re­ally a great part of rodeo,” NRCA gen­eral man­ager Janelle Bar­r­a­clough said.

“Rodeo re­ally is a fam­ily-ori­ented sport,” she said. “You have the thrills of rodeo and then you have the fam­ily as­pect that ev­ery­one can re­late to.”

To ac­com­pany the ac­tion, the event fea­tured mar­ket stalls, food shacks, a pet­ting zoo, on-stage fire-breath­ing and Al the Clown.

“It’s a tremen­dous rodeo with a lot of prepa­ra­tion go­ing into it some 12 months out from the ac­tual event,” Staines said. “We hope ev­ery­one liked it.”

PHOTO: EBONY GRAVEUR

ARENA AC­TION: Fi­nal­ists com­pete at the Dalby Show­grounds in the Na­tional Rodeo Fi­nals 2018.

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