the ABCRA National Finals kicked off with the first round of the senior rodeo on Wednesday night.
With a further three rounds of competition, competitors on the night were aiming for clean runs, fast times and high scores to give them a head start in the average race, and hopefully further their position on the national standings leader board.
In the crowd favourite Open Bullride event, all fifteen competitors were unable to hang on for the eight seconds, leaving the scoreboard untouched.
Undoubtedly one of the most remarkable cowgirls on the circuit, Nichole Fitzpatrick, has qualified for the National Finals in all three ladies’ events.
On Wednesday night Fitzpatrick was on fire in the breakaway roping and won the event with an electric time of 2.11 seconds.
In second place was Queensland competitor Leanne Kenny who also made a quick catch of 2.37 seconds.
Adding to her night, Fitzpatrick then went on to place second in the Ladies Barrel Race with a time of 17.44 seconds, behind Coonamble competitor and reigning champion Bianca Hertel who managed to stop the clocks in 17.32 seconds.
Local competitor Brianna Learmonth finished the night in the number three position with her time of 17.63.
The Steer Undecorating was hotly contested, with some very fast times recorded, however it was Teagan Glass from Attunga who stole the spotlight when she posted a time of 2.42 seconds to win the event.
Kellie Salter was only a fraction of a second behind with 2.44 seconds to secure second place ahead of Jody Young in third with a time of 2.61.
Queensland competitor Shane Kenny rode his way to victory in the Rope and Tie event after posting a time of 10.59 seconds. Well-known local competitor Ty Parkinson wasn’t far behind in second place with a time of 11.53 and junior competitor Campbell Hodson took home third with a time of 11.95.
In the Steer Wrestling event it was Glen Chape (the event leader) who took home first place honours after grounding his steer in an impressive time of 3.86 seconds.
Well-known competitor David Worsfold was a force to be reckoned with in the bareback competition, managing to hang on for the eight seconds and ride his way to a 76 point score to win the event.
In equal second and third place was former champion Dee Heinemann and Queensland competitor Revee McCormack who both scored 74 points.
The unstoppable brothers, Stephen and Matthew Mapp, were once again ahead of their competition, stopping the clock with a time of 6.29 seconds to win the Team Roping.
In the Saddle Bronc it was well-known competitor Carl Green with an impressive score of 77 who made the victory lap after finishing ahead of his rival competitors.
Luke Morgan, Tony Caldwell and John Dekoeyer all scored 72 points to finish in equal second.
The National Finals Rodeo will run until the finals tomorrow night.
The Campdraft National Finals are on today with the finals tomorrow afternoon.
Tonight is “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” night at the AELEC, with everyone attending encouraged to wear pink clothes in aid of the Cancer Council.