Fierce contest in arena
Spectators converge on NRCA national finals at Dalby
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.”
ARENA ACTION: Finalists compete at the Dalby Showgrounds in the National Rodeo Finals 2018.