FIVE riders from Queensland are on top of Australian Professional Rodeo Association standings leading into the Northern Run.
The first rodeos of the Northern Run are at Emerald on July 7-8 when the Junior National Finals Rodeo is held and in conjunction with Emerald rodeo with all APRA Championship events on July 8.
With only three months of the current season to go, Emerald cowboy Shane Kenny is the only rider at the top of the standings on more than one list.
He leads the All Around Cowboy standings from Victorian rider Terry Evison and is on top of the Rope and Tie with Townsville rider Campbell Hodson second.
The Queensland rider with the most impressive lead in APRA standings is Caboolture cowboy Lachlan O’Neill who has won almost twice as much money in Steer Wrestling as Scone (NSW) star Heath Nichols who is second.
Hodson leads the Team Roping Header standings narrowly from Kenny and is second in the Rope and Tie and third in the All Around.
Beaudesert cowboy Jared Borghero won the Bull Ride at the Mt Isa Rodeo last year to move to the standings lead and is still on top from past title winner Troy Wilkinson from Upper Horton in New South Wales.
In cowgirl events, the one Queensland leader is Emerald rider Leanne Caban, the only Queenslander in the top four in Breakaway Roping. Alton Downs rider Jorja Iker is in fifth place.
Past world rookie champion Brad Pierce from Tooma in New South Wales leads the saddle bronc standings in the first year he is concentrating on just one event. In past years, Pierce has competed in the Saddle Bronc and Bull Ride.
New South Wales cowgirl Jo Caldwell leads the Barrel Racing standings from Victorian star Shianne O’Donoghue-Kent.
O’Donoghue-Kent won the All Around Cowgirl title last year at The Warwick Rodeo National Finals in October and is at the top of the standings this season in the All Around from experienced Victorian rider Cherie O’Donoghue.
Past national title winner Aaron Bookluck from Nilma North in Victoria has a convincing lead in Team Roping Heeler standings.
In the Bareback bronc ride, Victorian cowboy Ben Hall has a clear lead over current champion David Worsfold from Wandoan in Queensland..
All of the leaders are assured of top-15 finishes and qualification for the National Finals at the Warwick Showgrounds on October 26-29 but there will be plenty of competition during the Northern Run for top-15 spots
APRA members are now in the middle of a month-long break leading up to the start of the Northern Run at Emerald on July 7-8.
The second weekend of action on the Northern Run will be the Taroom Rodeo on July 22 and then riders will head to Richmond on July 29 and the Flinders River Hughenden Timed Event Rodeo on July 30.
The Curry Merry Muster Xtreme Bulls are on August 3 and the Curry Merry Muster Rodeo at the Cloncurry Equestrian Centre on August 4-5.
More than 600 nominations are then expected for the Mt Isa Rodeo at Buchanan Park on August 11-13.