Bring on the cowboys

RODEO: Bring on the cowboys as Australia and New Zealand do battle in the dirt of the Great Western Indoor Arena tomorrow night.

It will be a week of Trans Tasman rivalry with the world one-day cricket final being decided in South Africa and the secondary schools rodeo teams having their own battle for supremacy at Rockhampton.

The Kiwis come into battle a little underdone as this secondary schools contest comes outside their regular season.

Consequently the young riders were keen to get some time with the beasts before the three-venue contest got under way at Dingo on Friday.

Needless to say the riders decided to try out at the Great Western Indoor Arena last Thursday afternoon and stock contractor Brian Duggan was only too pleased to supply some bulls for the Kiwi Cowboys to test themselves out.

“They have some good little riders in there,” he admitted.

While the young riders have a good skill level, they are not ready, like their Australian counterparts, to ride some of the more seasoned and aggressive bulls in the Duggan herd.

“We give them a go on a lot of the good junior bulls,” Duggan said.

It is not just in the Bull Ride that these youngsters will compete.

Duggan said the teams compete in the Steer Ride, Barrel Race, and Saddle Bronc also.

Each of the team's consists of about 10 competitors with the New Zealand side made up of Paddy and Aaron Church,Adam Jamieson, TeHiko Neil, Larry Fleming, Laurie Hewea, Jimi Bennett-Collier, Chelsea Fox, Nadia Church and Sarah Davis.

Duggan said it would be a good contest.

“The boy's (Kiwis) really enjoyed the stock,” he reported.

“They are better than what they have been used to.”

Leading the Australian team into action is St Brendan's Justin Paton who is already making his name on the local scene as a very promising cowboy.

Also in action for their country are Leonard Vennek, Sam Mason, Dylan Kime, Kimba Fein, Callum Gleeson, Michael Williamson, Ella Prow, Sam McLeod, Makayla Saunders and Luke Charles,who has had success riding with both Australia and New Zealand in the bronc ride as the Kiwis were short of a rider.

After the opening rounds at Dingo and Blackwater Australia are ahead, but it is by just 100 points, 420-320, and therefore it needs just one poor ride and that lead could be vulnerable.

Competition in the Trans Tasman Secondary Schools Challenge at the Great Western starts at 7pm tomorrow.

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