AFTER perfecting his riding skills at Wantabadgery in southern NSW, Boggabri rider Cody Angland is one of the favourites for the annual Mt Isa Rodeo this weekend.
The richest rodeo in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association starts on Friday and is one of only two rodeos nationwide where there are two rounds in each event.
Angland won the Ken Coleman Memorial Shoot Out in saddle bronc with a score of 84 at Cloncurry last weekend so has form on the board as he hopes for a saddle bronc/bareback bronc double at Mt Isa.
Less than a quarter of the rough stock riders in the APRA compete in two events but two who do are Angland and his brother Rhys.
Former Cloncurry and now Glendon bull rider Troy Mara won at Cloncurry and will be one to watch during the rest of the APRA season.
Beaudesert rider Fraser Babbington has the record for the highest bull riding score in Australian Professional Rodeo Association history and has the chance to add another Mt Isa title to his credit this weekend.
Babbington is originally from New Zealand and lived at Tamworth for a time before moving to South-east Queensland.
Last year, Babbington won the first round with 83 points and the final with 88 to win the aggregate at Mt Isa.
He will be in a field of 50 at Mt Isa and is a past bull ride title winner in the APRA.
In more good news for northern NSW riders, Upper Horton cowgirl Stacey Wilburn has won the breakaway roping at Cloncurry, one of the four biggest rodeos in the APRA.
In timed events, Alton Downs rider Shane Iker won the all around cowboy award at Mt Isa last year but will be up against the in-form Shane Kenny who has won the rope and tie at successive rodeos at Richmond and Cloncurry.
The Mt Isa rodeo, which starts tomorrow, is the last on the Northern Run in Queensland before competitors head to the Northern Territory for three rodeos.
The rodeo action will move to the New England on September 20 when the Tamworth Pro Rodeo is held. Nominations for the rodeo will be accepted by the APRA on September 10-11.
CLONCURRY WINNERS: Saddle bronc John McNamee (Millmerran), Bull ride Troy Mara (Glendon), Bareback bronc ride Jamie Howlett (Roma), Rope and tie Shane Kenny (Emerald), Steer wrestling Mark Gibb (Charters Towers), Team roping Campbell Hodson (Emerald) and Liam Davison (Charters Towers), Barrel racing Bianca Hertel (Coonamble), Breakaway roping Stacey Wilburn (Upper Horton)