Mark Collins
Mark Collins Linda Hepburn

Best will battle at Darwin Rodeo

IT will be a battle between the best from South Queensland and the Northern Territory when the saddle bronc riders jump on their horses at the Darwin Rodeo on Saturday, August 23.

Darwin may be 2000km from the heart of the Darling Downs and South West region but that won't stop four of the best heading to the top end in quest of prize money and a boost in their position on Australian Professional Rodeo Association standings.

Last season's pro tour winner Cameron Webster, of Wandoan, will make the trip along with St George rider John Turvey, Warwick star Mark Collins and Greg Hamilton from Mitchell.

Webster missed this year's National Finals Rodeo (NFR) at Caboolture with a broken leg but is back on the circuit testing his ability on the best bucking stock in the nation.

Hamilton was eighth in saddle bronc standings in the season to May 1 and Turvey 12th.

Collins qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 2011 and will be keen to boost his chances of a top 15 finish and qualification for next year's NFR.

Northern Territory riders have the most travelling of any competitors in the APRA to qualify for the NFR and two made it in the top 15 last year, Alice Springs bull rider Tom Willoughby and Herbert breakaway roper Chloe Abbott.

The Northern Run which started at Taroom in early July will finish after this weekend's rodeo at Darwin and the August 30 Mataranka Rodeo.

Riders will then have three weeks off before the Tamworth Pro Rodeo on September 20.

The Warwick Rodeo is dubbed the most famous in Australia and is one of only two APRA events which goes over four days.

Action starts late on the Thursday at the October 23-26 Warwick Rodeo.

Rodeo Program
August 23 Darwin (NT); August 30 Mataranka (NT); September 20 Tamworth (NSW); October 5 Marrabel (SA); October 11 Narrabri (NSW); October 23-26 Warwick (Qld).

Michael Maher. Photo: Stephen Mowbray
Michael Maher. Photo: Stephen Mowbray Stephen Mowbray


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