Matt swaps Santa ring for rodeo arena

Emerald State High School student competing in US rodeo in July


Matt Fatnowna's usual view of bulls is from their back but last week he got to hear about their reproductive and carcase characteristics as a QATC volunteer. Photo - Kelly Butterworth.

Matt Fatnowna's usual view of bulls is from their back but last week he got to hear about their reproductive and carcase characteristics as a QATC volunteer. Photo - Kelly Butterworth.

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Matt Fatnowna knows plenty about riding bulls but he got to appreciate the finer points of judging them at Beef Australia 2018 last week.

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Matt Fatnowna knows plenty about riding bulls but he got to appreciate the finer points of judging them at Beef Australia 2018 last week, when he worked as one of the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges volunteers in the judging rings.

Hailing from Durrie Station at Birdsville, which his parents, Darren and Nadine Lorenz, manage for SK Kidman and Co, Matt is currently completing Year 12 at the Emerald State High School and undertaking the QATC PACE program at the same time.

The program has been designed to enable people such as Matt to complete their Year 11 and 12 studies along with agricultural training and gives them a head start on an agricultural career.

Last week it helped him be part of the action of the greatest beef show in the southern hemisphere but he’s now getting ready to travel to Rock Springs, Wyoming in July to take part in the National High School rodeo finals.

With more than 1500 competitors from the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia, it’s the largest rodeo in the world, hosting 13 events over seven days.

Matt qualified to attend after being in the top four in the senior division bull-riding final at the Australian High School Rodeo Association finals at Murrurundi in NSW a couple of weeks ago.

“I’m pretty keen,” Matt said. “Rodeo’s great, I’ve made some good mates, it’s a thrill and now it’s taking me to the States.”

When he finishes school and his PACE courses, he says he’d like to spend a bit of time up north and maybe get a chopper licence.

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