RIDERS from Queensland, NSW, Tasmania and Northern Territory are the favourites in the bull ride at the Cloncurry Merry Muster Rodeo this weekend.
Cloncurry ranks with Mount Isa and Warwick as the three biggest rodeos in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association.
A rodeo will be held in Mataranka this weekend as well.
There are 448 nominations for the Cloncurry Rodeo at which all eight APRA championship events will be featured.
The Merry Muster will be on Friday and Saturday at the Cloncurry Equestrian Centre. A Junior Rodeo will be held at the CEC on Friday.
The Cloncurry Xtreme Bulls event will be held on Friday night at the Cloncurry Showgrounds. The Bull Ride could be one of the closest events, both at the CEC and Cloncurry Showgrounds.
Experienced Young (NSW) bull rider Ben Thorp will be one of the favourites. Two of the favourites from Queensland will be Troy Berry, of Biloela, who is third in APRA standings, and Dingo rider Bailey Woodard.
Last weekend, Woodard won the Bull Ride at the Richmond Rodeo. Longford (Tas) cowboy Kyle Maskiell is second on the APRA standings after 10 months of the APRA season and has form on the board.
Past Mt Isa winner Darcy McBean hails from Katherine, NT, and needs some prizemoney at Cloncurry on Friday and Saturday or the Mt Isa Rotary Rodeo on August 9-12 to secure a top-15 spot as at September 30 and qualification for the Warwick Rodeo APRA National Finals on October 24-28.
The best of the Victorians in the Bull Ride standings are Tom Phibbs in 10th place and Bryden Atkins in 13th and each will be aiming to cement their place in the national finals during the Northern Run which ends at Mt Isa.
Yass (NSW) cowboy Clay Bush was the most successful competitor at Richmond. Bush split first in Steer Wrestling with Jace Land and was first in Team Roping in combination with Darcy Kersh.
Saddle Bronc – Anthony Caldwell. Breakaway – Bridie Davison. Barrel Race – Jaimi Downing. Team Roping – Clay Bush & Darcy Kersh. Bull Ride – Bailey Woodard. Bareback – Deon Lane. Steer Wrestling – Clay Bush & Jace Land Equal 1st. Rope & Tie – Campbell Hodson.