Family shares rodeo affair
RODEO: We always knew that rodeos were a family affair, but what about competing along side your wife and brother?
Just ask Shane Kenny.
Emerald’s All Around Pro Tour Champion will head to the Gold Coast for the 2010 Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) National Finals Rodeo with his wife Leanne and brother Kacey.
But the rodeo won’t be a casual family outing, with the top 15 competitors in Australia competing in the biggest championships this season that starts on January 7.
Shane Kenny, 35, is no stranger to the nationals with this showdown being his 22nd consecutive year and he will compete in the team roping, steer wrestling and his strongest event, rope and tie.
“I have been sort of going to nationals since I was 13 and won my first Australian championships when I was 17,” he said.
But despite his experience, winnings and strength, he still knows it won’t be an easy ride.
“It has the top 15 competitors in Australia and anyone who is there has earned their stripes to be there, so anyone can win,” he said.
“I hope I will go really good, I hope I win - but everybody wants to win.”
And it would be no surprise for locals to know that Central Queensland will be a region well feared by other competitors, with more than five local cowboys qualifying for the big events.
“Central Queensland is looking pretty good. I think there is about five or six Central Queensland competitors,” he said.
Kacey Kenny, who is 10 years younger than Shane, has also had a good year and will face his big brother in the team rope and rope and tie events, but Shane said there was no sibling rivalry.
Leanne Kenny, Shane’s wife, qualified for two events, barrel racing and ladies breakaway.
Kenny said he would enter the arena feeling relaxed without pressure, which is a change compared to previous years.
“I use to compete full time, but now I work at the mines,” he said.
“It is something I love doing and is a really big part of my life but it isn’t about putting food on the table anymore, so it is more a luxury with no pressure.
“I don’t see myself giving it up any time soon and I hope my kids will be a part of it in the future.”
The rodeo will start on January 7 and will continue for four days.