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25 October, 2019

NATIONAL FINALS THIS WEEK

 Roma rider is barrel race favourite/Summary of riders to beat in APRA national finals

 
ROMA (Qld) rider Chantel Huddy goes into this week’s Warwick Rodeo APRA National Finals as the leader in barrel racing standings. (Oct 24-27)
The Australian Professional Rodeo Association finals will be contested over four rounds, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm and a daytime round from 10am Sunday at the Warwick Showgrounds.
Huddy won the pro tour during a season in which she won the aggregate at Mt Isa after a first in round 1 and a second in round 2.
During the 2019 season, she also won her hometown rodeo at Roma as well as at Emerald, Yeppoon, Comet and Mitchell rodeos.
Being the standings leader, Huddy will go into the national finals as the favourite during a finals series which will be contested by the top 15 in all eight championship events. Riders start the national finals with credit for their pro tour prizemoney.
While she has been to the Warwick Rodeo as a spectator, this week’s Australian Professional Rodeo Association national finals will be her first as a competitor.
“I am nervous but excited,” Huddy said.
She first competed in horse sports in pony club at Mt Isa before starting to barrel race at age 15.
Huddy puts a lot of her success down to her quarter horse gelding Mick.
“Mick is owned by Joy and Andrew Byrnes from Toowoomba and they will be in Warwick this week to watch me compete,” she said.
“A year ago, Joy and Andrew asked me if I would like to campaign Mick,” she said.
“Mick seems to love his job, he is fast, consistent and is the coolest little horse.”
Huddy is a stay at home Mum and involved with husband Wayde Jones in the family welding and fabrication business in Roma.
They have two children, Clara, 4, and Jimmy, 18 months.
“Clara is mad keen on horses,” she said.
There will be a second-division rodeo on Saturday and Sunday at the Warwick Showgrounds in conjunction with the national finals. 
 
Riders to beat in October 24-27 APRA National Finals
Saddle bronc: Pro tour winner Tim Hammond (Rosewood, NSW) will face tough opposition from fellow New South Wales cowboy Tom Kerr as well as experienced pair, Cody Angland (NSW) and last year’s winner Cameron Webster (Qld). Webster has the ability to win from the middle of the standings list.
Bull ride: Victorian young gun Will Purcell (Mansfield, VIC) is part of one of the best top 15s in recent years in bull riding. Last year’s title winner Brady Fielder (Qld) is a strong chance along with star Clermont rider Aaron Kleier. Upper Horton (NSW) cowboy and finals’ qualifier Troy Wilkinson is a past Warwick winner.
Bareback bronc ride: The favourites this year are pro tour winner Ben Hall from Tumbarumba in New South Wales and last year’s winner David Worsfold from Wandoan in Queensland.  Young Victorian cowboy Jarrod McKane is third in the standings and one to watch.
Rope and tie: Warwick (Qld) rider Mitch Eastwell won last year’s title but needs to make up ground on standings leader Campbell Hodson from Townsville. Victorian star Terry Evison and experienced Queensland pair Shane Kenny and Shane Iker are three to watch.  Eastwell’s  brother Brock won the finals aggregate at Warwick two years ago.
Steer wrestling: Charters Towers (Qld) rider Tate Van Wel won the pro tour but will face tough opposition from Townsville cowboy Campbell Hodson who has an outstanding horse for steer wrestling. New Zealand rider Haami Boynton is second in the standings and currently based at Emerald in Queensland.
Team roping: Victorian pair Terry Evison and Aaron Bookluck have qualified for the finals in both the header and heeler standings so will get two chances in team roping, one as a header and one as a heeler in their Victorian team. Hodson and Charters Towers rider (Qld) Liam Davison will be two to watch along with Emerald (Qld) rider Shane Kenny and Clay Bush from Yass in New South Wales. Warwick (Qld) father-and-son combination Jeff and Kobe Miller are a team with a strong chance especially as Kobe is in top form as a heeler after enjoying success this year in North America. 
Barrel racing: Roma rider Chantel Huddy won the pro tour and will compete in her first national finals. Experienced New South Wales trio Kerrie Holder, Teneille Angland and Wendy Caban are likely to challenge strongly for the title. Past all around cowgirl winner Ellysa Kenny (Qld) is also in the field.
Breakaway roping: Emerald rider Ellysa Kenny is standings leader just in front of last year’s winner Cherie O’Donoghue from Lockington in Victoria. Upper Horton (NSW) rider Stacey Wilburn and her sister Melissa will be two who could surprise this week along with Queensland rider Jane Ryan. 
 
More information or more photos 07 4661 8183
 
Photo of Will Purcell and Chantel Huddy by Dave Ethell Photos www.dephotos.com.au 
Photo of Ben Hall by Barry Richards www.bractionphotography.com.au 
 


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Australian Professional Rodeo Association
Postal Address: PO BOX 264, Warwick QLD 4370
Office Address: 4 Alice St, Warwick QLD 4370
Ph: 07 4661 8183 - Fx: 07 4661 4990 - Email: apra@prorodeo.com.au
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