Alstonville Rodeo to feature top riders
MORE of the top rough riders in Australia have confirmed they will compete in the Alstonville Rodeo on Anzac Day.
Rider Sam Champ, from Meldale, Queensland, will be a favourite in the bull ride after an outstanding season in which he'll likely finish second.
In the saddle bronc, the two best riders in the nation will go head-to-head.
Warwick's Michael Maher and Mark Collins were expected to turn heads with a skilful show of horsemanship.
Maher has led the standings since he won the Mt Isa Rodeo in August and increased his lead with a win at Warwick in October.
After being midfield in the top 15 late last year, Collins has moved up the standings and was placed second heading into Saturday's event at Alstonville Showground.
Toowoomba's Owen Lee was second in the bareback bronc standings, but he'll face strong opposition from fellow Queensland rider Matthew Makinson, who has two titles from the Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) to his name.
In the bull ride, Matt Boland, from Haden, Queensland, was expected to be a standout.
He was 16th in the standings and needs a win to secure a spot in the top 15 and qualification for the Warwick Rodeo Australian Championships, to be held from October 22-25.
Every dollar won during the APRA season will secure a point towards October's title battle, which will result in a ramped-up competition at the Alstonville Rodeo.
Some of the top riders from New South Wales heading to Alstonville include current APRA all-round and barrel racing champion Nichole Fitzpatrick from Willow Tree and Moree couple Troy and Wendy Caban.
The Cabans will compete in team roping and Wendy, a seven-time APRA title holder, will also take part in barrel racing and breakaway roping.