28 Jan 2015

The ABCRA National Finals Rodeo & Campdraft 2014 wrapped up on Saturday 24th January after five days of fast paced action and according to ABCRA Executive Officer Hunter Jones the event was an outstanding success and had exceeded all expectations:

“What we’ve seen over the past 5 days is the culmination of 12 months of hard work by everyone involved in making these National Finals the huge success it is; from the competitors who followed the competition circuit throughout 2014, gathering points and price money in order to secure themselves a top spot in the rankings and subsequent invitation to compete at the National Finals to the various organising committees, volunteers and Board and staff of the ABCRA; it’s a huge team effort.”

“Spectator numbers in all three components of our National Finals; the junior rodeo, senior rodeo and campdraft, enjoyed tremendous growth and exceeded last year’s numbers by a mile.”

“The junior rodeo competitors showed off their skills in front of an audience of around 1000 spectators with young gun Thomas Nash taking out both the National Champion title in the 8 to under 11 year Steer Ride as well as the National and Finals Champion titles of All Round Junior Cowboy! Another fantastic achievement was made by local rider Bianca Canham taking out the National Champion title in the 14 to under 18 year Juvenile Barrel Race as well as the National and Finals Champion titles of All Round Junior Cowgirl! Fantastic achievements from both of these young superstars of the sport.”

“The Senior Rodeo performances enjoyed better than anticipated crowds with over 1800 and close to 2500 attending the event on Thursday and the Friday nights respectively. Round 3 of the Senior Rodeo, held on Saturday 24th January, saw a bumper crowd of over 4000 people diverge on the AELEC arena selling out all seated and standing only tickets before the start of the show,” Mr Jones said.

Local rider Blake Hallam enjoyed a great 3 days of competition taking out the Finals Champion Steer Wrestling and Rope & Tie titles resulting in him earning the National Finals Champion All Round Cowboy as well as the prestigious National Champion All Round Cowboy titles. Last year’s National Champion All Round Cowgirl Nichole Fitzpatrick is a seasoned competitor and once again proved too hard to beat taking out the National Finals Champion All Round Cowgirl and the prestigious National Champion All Round Cowgirl titles once again!

Western Australian Bull Rider Wade McCarthy came in to this competition with fellow competitor Carl Green hot on his heels. Following a first round no score, Wade came out strong in rounds 2 and 3 taking out the National Champion Bull Rider title for 2014 with Carl Green a close runner-up.

The true-blue Aussie sport of Campdraft held their 3 National Finals rounds over Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th of January at the campdraft arena at AELEC, Tamworth. Event organiser and MRC Campdraft Director Peter Connor said that the event had been extremely successful with the grounds at AELEC very well presented and the weather close to perfect allowing them to finish in record time completing 2 full rounds on Friday and finishing at lunch time on Saturday.

“Although there were some tough ones, the cattle were good and I wish to thank the cattle donors for their generosity in donating their cattle at this time of year despite conditions. Their generosity is very much appreciated and an essential component to our sport,” Mr Connor said.

“The Open Horse title was hotly contested with Troy Palmer riding Impressive Destiny and Allan Young riding Acres Liberty Beau coming in on equal points. Troy Palmer ended up taking it out as well as the Open Rider title. The Novice Horse title was won by Warwick Lawrence on Acres Jewel and the Encouragement title winner Anthony Mortimer and his mare Little Abbey proved to be highly consistent gaining places in 3 out of 8 event aggregates.”

Mr Connor said that the MRC was very happy with the event; the spectator numbers (particularly on the Friday) were well up from last year and the Awards Presentation had been well attended. The MRC wishes to thank all the competitors and volunteers for their cooperation and support.