READY TO LAUNCH: Jamie-Lee Williams, on her horse Rocket, is aiming for her first senior title this weekend.
READY TO LAUNCH: Jamie-Lee Williams, on her horse Rocket, is aiming for her first senior title this weekend. Sharyn Oneill Rokscrca

Open barrel racer in grasp of title win

JAMIE-LEE Williams has rocketed to within a whisker of her first open women's barrel racing title.

Astride her 10-year-old horse Rocket, Williams launches into the barrel race event at the Central Rodeo Cowboys Association Grand Finals Rodeo at Fitzroy River Pony Club tonight with a healthy lead over her competitors.

Sitting on 920 points, the Ridgelands rider leads the in-form Jill Lyons (600), Jorja Watkins (520) and Jaimi Downing (360), but with a maximum of 640 points up for grabs over the next three days it's anyone's ball game.

A red-hot start to the 2013 competition for the 20-year-old, who originally hails from Townsville, saw Williams hold a huge lead, but a late charge from Lyons has her on her toes.

"Her horse had major surgery at the end of last year so she was out at the start of the season, and she's coming back strong now," said Williams who started barrel racing at age 10. Thanks to the support of Katie B Western and Global Engineering Constructions, the veterinary nurse is closing in her first title after plenty of success in the junior competitions.

"It'd mean a lot to win, I've never won an open barrel title," Williams said.

"I've won a lot of junior titles and for the last couple of years, no matter what association, I've always finished runner-up so it'd be really good to win one."

Boyfriend Cameron Milner will have his work cut out at the weekend.

Along with supporting Williams, he'll be competing in the team roping heeler, steer wrestling and rope and tie events.

Rodeo action starts today at 7pm.



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