Seven CQ riders rope honours



? CENTRAL Queensland is riding high when it comes to Australian schools rodeo honours.

The region can boast seven of the 11 team members in the Australian High School Rodeo Association team to compete in New Zealand next month.

St Brendan's bull rider Guy Ford will captain the team and is joined by fellow Central Queenslanders bull rider Brad Corrie (Glenmore), barrel racers Tessa and Rachael Charles (St Ursula's), bronc riders Kemp Donaldson and Dillon Scott (St Brendan's) and steer rider Mitchel Paton (St Brendan's).

Australian team manager Ross Ford, of "Forest Home'', Capella, remembers having nine of the 11 team members in 2004, but said this was still a great effort.

"We've been nurturing the junior program for about five or six years now,'' he said.

"The children have more access to the rodeos and the rodeo atmosphere.''

All the students had to qualify for the team by competing in various rodeos and earning points.

When Australia and New Zealand first hit the arena against each other three years ago Ford said it was "almost embarrassing'' how they beat them.

The times have changed with New Zealand taking the last win.

"New Zealand have learnt a lot from Australia, America and Canada,'' Ford said.

Some Australian team members will leave for New Zealand earlier to contest two rodeos before the annual Trans-Tasman Rodeo Challenge which starts in Wanganui on March 25.



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