2017 Rodeo Queen of Australia to shine at NRCA National Rodeo Finals

Posted on November 02, 2016 by Janelle Barraclough

2017 Rodeo Queen of Australia to shine at NRCA National Rodeo Finals

The newly crowned Rodeo Queen of Australia, Bessie Smits, will make her first official appearance at the NRCA 2016 National Rodeo Finals at the Dalby Showgrounds, Queensland, this weekend. She will also help with presentations and appear throughout the day for photos and autographs.

“I cannot wait to make my debut as Rodeo Queen of Australia at such a prestigious event. It will be amazing to watch Australia's best rodeo athletes compete for a national title,” she said. Hailing from Perth but a country girl through and through, Ms Smits confesses she's smitten with the sport.

She's loved horses since she can remember, owning her first at age 10 when her family moved to rural Queensland. She became a serious show jumper, placing in the State's top 10 for a few rounds. “I had some great memories with my late father working at rodeos. My local pony club would volunteer and my father and I worked with the roping and rough stock,” Ms Smits said.

“He was not a horse or cattleman by any means, and you could see how uneasy he was opening the gates for the ranker bulls and horses after their rides. But he really demonstrated the endearing qualities of rodeo, which is getting out of your comfort zone and having a go no matter what.”

Ms Smits has recently been able to unleash her passion for rodeos after meeting her partner, who comes from a riding family.

“I have competed in barrel racing in the past but have found my calling recently in breakaway roping. What I love the most about the sport is the development and growth I have seen in my horse and myself as a horsewoman,” she says. “Rodeo produces tough people who are filled with endurance. Also, the atmosphere is absolutely breathtaking.”

Ms Smits said she was thrilled to be an ambassadress for the National Rodeo Council of Australia (NRCA) and the sport itself. In 2017, she will travel in Australia and overseas (for a 21-day whirlwind promotional tour through Canada and the US).

She said the Australian Rodeo Queen Quest, which started in 1992, was an amazing opportunity for women to build confidence and lifelong personal skills.

“It's a privilege to be the Rodeo Queen of Australia. We give children and young women a positive role model to aspire to, and I'm incredibly excited about my up and coming year,” Ms Smits said.

This Thursday locals in Dalby will get the opportunity to meet Ms Smits firsthand when she participates in a mini street parade to help promote this weekends National Rodeo Finals alongside ‘Monty’ the bullock as they roam Cunningham Street in the city centre. Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh Mayor will also be in attendance for a Meet n Greet at Dalby Shopping World from 3.30pm.

* The NRCA is the first organisation made up and run by a united body of rodeo associations nationally. The not for profit actively promotes the sport of rodeo in Australia. The NRCA also helps members with insurance, training and safety, animal welfare, and information on government regulations and policies.

For more details, contact Janelle Barraclough on (02) 6737 3777 or enquire@nationalrodeocouncil.com.au. Visit the website on nationalrodeocouncil.com.au

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