Barrel racer in grasp of title wins at Great Western event

RODEO CIRCUIT: Local cowgirl Amber Patteson, 15, is ready to prover her class in the junior, rookie and open barrel race.
RODEO CIRCUIT: Local cowgirl Amber Patteson, 15, is ready to prover her class in the junior, rookie and open barrel race. Jenna Johnstone Rokrodeo

SLOW and right beats fast and wrong, but fast and right beats everything, according to cowgirl Amber Patteson.

Astride her horse Hurricane Harry, Patteson launches into this weekend's Young Guns and Top Guns events at the Great Western Nissan Navara Arena with healthy standings.

The 15-year-old has mastered her speed, timing and precision to gallop into the top-level of barrel racing.

"Any error, whether it is sitting a little too early, pulling him in too tight or hitting a drum can cost you," Patteson said.

"There is always plenty of adrenaline pumping you need make sure you're prepared."

The young Rockhampton-based cowgirl is entering tomorrow night's Young Guns Round 6 on the back of two title wins in 2014.

The former rookie and junior champion is well placed to secure another three buckles; equalling first in the junior barrel, second in the open and third in the rookie.

"I need to keep my placing's up, so it's important I keep my horse fit and keep him running at the best of his ability," Patteson said.

"With a smaller arena I need to make sure everything is tight and slick."

A red-hot start to the 2015 competition has placed Patteson right on the toes of 18-year-old Sarah Morgan with the pair averaging the arena's quickest times between 13.02 and 13.04 seconds.

"I had a few runs in the Top Guns last year to see how I sat against some of the number one ladies," Patteson said.

"Sarah is very tough competition, so there is never any room for error when I'm up against her."

The Cathedral College Year 10 student was hoping Hurricane Harry could produce more cash on demand with $1200 on offer in the open and $500 in the rookie barrel events.

"I have lots of faith in him to get me up there points and times wise," Patteson said.

"But that doesn't stop me from getting nervous, he can feel me shaking."

It's a big weekend of riding for the Rockhampton-based cowgirl also contesting the State Barrel Racing Futurity Event and Dallarnil CRCA rodeo on Monday.

"I've been getting up early to ride my young horse this week and trotting my other four horses out in the afternoon," Patteson said.

"It will be a very busy weekend."

Great Western arena manager Brian Duggan said Amber is in fine form.

"There is some tough competition lining up this weekend but if she can gather a couple of good runs she'll do well," he said.

Action begins tomorrow night at the Great Western from 7pm.

Topics:  barrel racing great western hotel horse young guns

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