The 2015 NRCA National Rodeo Finals surpassed all expectations this year with a record crowd of up to 8,000 attending the event at the DALBY Showgrounds 30th October – 1st November!
Tipped as one of the best rodeos in Australia, it looks like the National Rodeo Council is well on its way to retaining its crown as the ultimate rodeo event.
The undercover venue was at full capacity delivering a superb viewing platform for spectators, providing an electric atmosphere throughout both nights. This years NRF competitors delivered some thrilling rides including Victorian Cowboy Adam Hinkley on Friday night in the Open Bull; Adam who has just returned from riding in Canada, was the last rider of the night to score 84 in a sensational show of cowboy skill, also winning on the Saturday night with a score of 81, securing him the 2015 Open Bull Riding Champion title.The string of bucking horses supplied by Rick Knudsen and the Gill Bros. were outstanding with some exceptional rides and scores made during the two days of National Finals competition including John Turvey from St George, QLD who scored 74 in Friday Nights Open Saddle Bronc competition. Not to be left behind, the timed events also experienced some remarkable times with Roma cowboy Coben Ayres making a freakish catch in 2.8 seconds in the junior breakaway on Saturday night to clinch the title of 2015 Junior Breakaway Roping Champion.
Competitors travelled from as far as Western Australian, Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory, with one rodeo family; mum and five children, horses and dog travelling all the way from Palmerston in the Northern Territory, that is dedication!
Rodeo Queen of Australia Latoya Wards lead the grand entry in an elegant display of horsemanship and class. Nicknamed ‘the Pied Piper’ of rodeo, she was never left alone throughout the course of the weekend, with a string of children in her wake requesting autographs and photos. Latoya also helped promote the event visiting local shopping centre and school Dalby South State School much to the delight of the children and as a result, we might just see some up and coming junior rodeo queens from Dalby in the near future.
Entertainer and crowd favourite, Mik Oberle whipped the crowd into a frency on completion of the buckles presentation on Saturday night with spectators and cowboys whooping it up to the tunes of some of your favourite country artists. We also saw some fancy footwork from several of the locals who seemed to be having the time of their life at the event and as an organiser of rodeo this is exactly what we like to see, fun times had by all!
Support from the Dalby community for the National Rodeo Finals weekend has been tremendous despite the lack of sponsorship from local business. This is the second time the National Rodeo Finals event has been held in the township of Dalby and with the continued support of the locals and the Dalby Chamber of Commerce, the National Rodeo Council intends to continue its National Rodeo Finals event in the region.
In addition to the excitement of National Finals, ‘The Unique Horseman’ Australian Colt Starting Challenge, which is held as an add on to the National Finals Event is also held over three day sessions during the course of the weekend. The original concept was developed by Colin McTaggart, who first came up with the idea to provide a means of helping horsemen and women understand a gentler way of breaking in horses through a competition.
The event gives horseman a chance to showcase their talents and technique while educating people about horses with specators also given the opportunity to participate by asking questions during the competition. Colin, along with his daughter Kim McTaggart, have now made this an annual competition which is gaining more support each year. This years winners included Dan Steers (Young Guns), Clayton Evans (The Legends) and Dylan Wall (Peoples Choice Award).2015 NRCA Australian Rodeo Champions included:
Open Bull Ride – ADAM HINKLEY, Colac VIC
Open Saddlebronc – LUKE CHAPLAIN, Cloncurry QLD
Open Bareback – DINNY MORAN, Tara QLD
Team Roping Header – TOM MORRISON, Chinchilla QLD
Team Roping Heeler – DUNHILL ABRIOL, Roma QLD
Steer Wrestling – MARK HOGNO, One Mile QLD
Rope & Tie – KOLT FERGUSON, Cloncurry QLD
Ladies Barrel Race – TEAL AYERS, Roma QLD
Ladies Breakaway Roping – KATRINA HICKEY, Georgetown QLD
Junior Barrel- KATELYN SIMPSON, Palmerston NT
Junior Breakaway- COBEN AYERS, Roma QLD
Junior Bareback-BEN WALSH, Roma QLD
Junior Bull Ride – CAMERON SOUTHERN, Thallon QLD
Allround Cowgirl – TEAL AYERS, Roma QLD
Allround Cowboy – KOLT FERGUSON Cloncurry QLD
Thank you to Major Sponsors of the 2015 National Rodeo Council of Australia National Rodeo FInals: Channel Seven, Dalby Herald, Hot Fm, Western Trading Company, Rodeo Services Association, Wangrah Wilderness Lodge, Western Downs Regional Council, Oakey Abbatoirs and Kobbers Motor Inn. Special mention this year must go out to our Chairman Pat Staines who not only announced at both nights of the National Finals event he also announced all day Friday, Saturday AND Sunday at the Unique Horseman competition, tremendous effort!!
ABOUT NATIONAL RODEO COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA (NRCA) The National Rodeo Council of Australia (NRCA) is the first non-profit organisation made up and run by a united body of rodeo associations nationally. Formed in 1992 to further the sport of rodeo, the National Rodeo Council of Australia provides assistance to members in administration, access to a national insurance scheme, training and safety programs, animal welfare and up to date government regulations and policies. The major goal and objectives for the NRCA has always been to have one voice, representing rodeo at government level by eliminating the confusion of separate groups making individual representations and to work alongside each member Association to actively promote the sport of rodeo in Australia. Each year a National Finals event is conducted bringing together the top riders from each of the member Associations creating a 'Truly Unique' Australian National Rodeo Finals event.The National Rodeo Finals event, is the only event of it’s kind to bring together individual Rodeo Associations to compete for the one championship title.