AT just 16 years of age, Wandal cowgirl Calla Matthews is competing in her second National Finals Rodeo this week (April 7-10) at the Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre.Matthews has won many junior buckles in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association and was sixth in the breakaway roping standings at the end of the 2010 season.
She finished 10th in barrel racing so is in the National Finals Rodeo in two events.
The finals were originally scheduled for January but postponed to April due to the Queensland floods.
One third of the finals qualifiers from around Australia come from Central Queensland which speaks volumes for the region’s success in rodeo.
After winning the all around cowboy title in 2008, Alton Downs cowboy Shane Iker is again in the finals in team roping, steer wrestling and the rope and tie so has a good chance to repeat his heroics of three years ago.
Emerald cowboy Shane Kenny is the most successful in the history of the APRA and has qualified for team roping and the rope and tie.
Two Central Queensland riders are in two rough stock events at the finals. Bull ride pro tour winner Stuart Frame, of Gracemere, and Brett Cross, of Alton Downs, are in the bull ride and bareback this week.
The next APRA rodeo in Central Queensland is on April 23 at Emerald.
Other CQ qualifiers: Team roping: Clancy Middleton (Emerald), Jeff Miller (Emerald), Grant Hanrahan (Emerald), Anthony Lillyman (The Caves), Robert McPhee (Alton Downs), Michael Stanley (Alton Downs), Brody Moss (Emerald), Kacey Kenny (Emerald), Dale Caban (Emerald), Brendan Kenny (Springsure), Joel Lillyman (The Caves), Casey Lillyman (The Caves), Wayne McGhee (Comet).
Barrel race: Leanne Kenny (Emerald), Naomi Purcell (Dingo), Leanne Caban (Emerald).
Steer wrestling: Casey Lillyman (The Caves), Mark Price (Blackwater), Michael Stanley (Alton Downs), Cameron Bell (Gracemere), Barry Ash (Emerald), Ryan Sainsbury (Kabra).
Bull ride: Sonny Schafferius (Dysart), Troy Mara (Bouldercombe), Craig Postle (Mundubbera), Ryan Storey (Dingo).
Rope and tie: Clancy Middleton (Emerald), Dale Caban (Emerald), Cameron Milner (Garnant), Cameron Bell (Gracemere), Brody Moss (Emerald).
Breakaway Roping – Leanne Caban (Emerald), Jorja Watkins (Alton Downs), Emma Leahy (Yeppoon), Melinda Balderson (Emerald).