TAMWORTH can lay claim to be the home of one of the best cowgirls in the nation after the success of Calla Matthews in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association season.
Formerly from Alton Downs in Central Queensland where she starred along with sister Katina, Calla won the rookie high point cowgirl and rookie breakaway roping titles in the 2014 season.
She was fifth in open all around and breakaway roping standings lists and eighth in the barrel race but proved in the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) at the Queensland State Equestrian Centre that standings mean nothing when it comes to finals action.
She was second in the aggregate in the open barrel race at Caboolture and recorded two fourths in the rounds of breakaway roping.
Walcha rider Gerard Oversby won the rookie high point cowboy and rookie bull ride titles this year to give New South Wales both rookie high point champions.
Originally from Western Australia, Oversby was equal first in round 1 of the bull ride at the NFR.
Both Matthews and Oversby are strong chances of winning open titles this year and can start the new season with prize money at the Nebo Rodeo in North Queensland on Saturday.
The rodeo will be in the Nebo Undercover Arena.
If Matthews is to go one better in the barrel race at next year’s NFR, she will have to overcome the challenge from 2013 winner Wendy Caban, of Moree, and this year’s winner, Nichole Fitzpatrick, of Willow Tree.
There is a championship points rodeo at Bundaberg on May 30 which is ideally suited to attract the large contingent of Central Queensland riders along with many of the competitors from southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales.
The Northern Run is one of the two biggest in the APRA and starts on July 19 at Taroom.
ROOKIE PRO TOUR CHAMPIONS:
Rookie Cowboy of the Year Gerard Oversby (Walcha, NSW); Saddle bronc Allan Powell (Springsure, Qld); Bull ride Gerard Oversby (Walcha, NSW); Bareback bronc ride Lachlan Marshall (Berrigan, NSW); Rope and tie Clint Purse (Glencoe, Qld); Steer wrestling Clay Gordon (Roma, Qld); Team roping header Clint Purse (Glencoe, Qld); Team roping heeler Cameron Milner (Rockhampton, Qld); Rookie Cowgirl of the Year Calla Matthews (Tamworth, NSW); Barrel race P.J. Hanrahan (Gogango, Qld); Breakaway roping Calla Matthews (Tamworth, NSW)
APRA RODEO PROGRAM
May 24 Nebo; May 30 Bundaberg; May 31 Maleny Bull Ride; June 7-8 Bowen River; July 19 Taroom; July 26 Longreach; July 27 Richmond; August 1-3 Cloncurry; August 8-10 Mt Isa; August 16 Darwin (NT); August 22 Daly Waters (NT); August 23 Katherine (NT); August 29-31 Saltwater Country Rodeo (WA).
More information from APRA on 07 4661 8183