Young guns get ready to ride
GOOD crowds and high-quality action is what you can expect at tonight's opening round of the Paul Archer The Good Guys Young Guns series.
There is always excitement when the young cowboys and girls take part in the poddy ride.
Poddy competitors Sam Spencer and Lawson Nobbs, both 14, will hit the Great Western Arena tonight for the first round of the Young Guns rodeo.
The young cowboys will be crowd favourites as they take to the arena against fellow competitors.
Some of the competitors are barely as tall as the poddy calf's they ride. To these young guys the bull they climb on must feel every bit as large and fearsome as those fully grown versions the senior cowboys ride in shows.
"We just love the thrill of riding, it is so much fun but also a little bit scary," Spencer and Nobbs said.
"The best part is being out there and riding, it is great when you make time."
The Rockhampton Grammar School students have been riding for three years and hope to pursue a career in professional bull riding.
Arena manager Brian Duggan said the series focused on developing the younger riders and preparing them for the older grades.
"We try to train the young cowboys up so they can come and learn in a safe environment," he said. "We are teaching the kids the safety aspects as well as other important characteristics such as respect."
Around 100 riders will compete in tonight's first round of the Young Guns series which will continue until September.
"We have kids come to compete from Townsville, some from Gin Gin, right out to Capella and Emerald," he said.
"It's quite a prestigious series as we have beautiful big buckles and trophy prizes on offer."
The competition has been running successfully for four years with competitors competing in various rodeo events.
"This will be the first of nine rounds this series with riders from the age of three to around 25 competing in the rookie and junior events," Duggan said.
"We have several rookie events; the rookie bull ride, the rookie saddle bronc, the rookie bare back, the rookie barrel race, as well as the junior bull ride, steer ride and poddy ride."
The junior division will again this year host leading contenders Harry Hoffman and Travis Pearson who represented Australia last year in the Australian High School Rodeo Team.
The Young Guns Rodeo kicks off tonight from 7pm.