Emma, Jill deadlocked for US trip after Top Guns rodeo
EMMA Benjamin and Jill Lyons are sitting on the edge of their saddles.
With an all-expenses-paid trip to the US up for grabs, Rockhampton barrel racers Benjamin and Lyons are crossing their fingers and toes.
The duo went head-to-head in the arena in the finals of the Top Guns rodeo series on Saturday night and while Benjamin took away the barrel racing title buckle, the pair is tied in first for the US trip on offer for the winner of the series.
Event organiser Brian Duggan said the rare tie had caused a bit of confusion.
"Emma Benjamin and Jill Lyons are tied for the trip to the US on 320 points each," Duggan said.
"I'm going to have to be the bad guy and draw one of their names out of a hat."
Whether she was heading over to the US or not, Benjamin was over the moon with her performance.
"I'm really happy with how I rode on Saturday night and winning the barrel race title because all of my hard work from throughout the year has paid off," the 17-year-old said.
"Riding against Jill Lyons, I was very nervous because she's such a good rider to compete against and she's really nice. I'm glad it was Jill I was up against."
Benjamin said heading overseas would be a dream come true.
"It would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me to go over to the US."
While the Top Guns series was finished, Benjamin still had plenty left on her rodeo season calendar.
"I'll be competing in the Young Guns rodeo series finals and the Christmas rodeo," she said.
"I'm not sure where I'm sitting in the young guns standings but my sister Zara is leading the junior barrel race standings."
In 2014, Benjamin said with some new sponsors behind her, she was hoping to take out the rookie title in the CRCA series.
Lyons mirrored Benjamin's excitement about the US and said she was proud to be in the running with Benjamin for the opportunity.
"I've been over there a few times because I have family in Colorado and we haven't been over for about four years so it would be a good chance to catch up with them," Lyons said.
"I'd also like to do some schools over there this time as well with some roping classes. I was really happy with the run-off with Emma for the buckle last night, I was actually a bit proud to be riding against her because she never says a bad thing about anyone, she's the nicest girl and she's a tough young rider."
Lyons' goal for the rest of the season is to qualify for the Australian Professional Rodeo Association national finals next May.
1st Emma Benjamin
1st Jill Lyons
3rd Richard Mills