Emerald's Ellysa Kenny aims for third national APRA title

By Gerard Walsh
December 8 2021 - 10:00pm

Emerald rider Ellysa Kenny will be aiming for her third national all-around title on her horse Ted in the Ariat Australian Professional Rodeo Association National finals in late January in Victoria.

The finals were originally scheduled for October in Warwick but were not played due to border restrictions.

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The first two rounds of the finals will be at Chiltern on January 21-22 and the final two rounds at Alexandra on January 28-29.

Kenny has qualified for her fourth finals.

She made the finals for the first time in 2017 and performed consistently in the barrel race and breakaway roping to win the APRA all-around cowgirl title.

In 2018, she had a break from barrel racing so only made the finals in breakaway roping.

Kenny was back on the winner's podium in 2019 when she won the all-around title.

The January 21-29 finals are the first for more than two years due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The top-15 in seven APRA championship events will compete at Chiltern and Alexandra.

Kenny will feel right at home at Alexandra as she has won the barrel race and breakaway roping at an Alexandra rodeo. She has also been placed at Chiltern.

She has been clocked at a personal best of 2.05 seconds twice in breakaway roping.

The best times were at a rodeo at the family property, Destiny Downs, at Emerald and at Wandoan in October when she was second to Fallon Mulhall.

Like many riders in Queensland, Kenny hasn't had a chance to practise in early December due to the big wet in the state.

"It will be good to head south for the finals as our last trip to Victoria was early in 2020," she said.

She expects her toughest opposition in the barrel race will come from Candy Michaelis (South Australia) and Leslie Moore (Victoria).

In breakaway roping, Kenny nominates Western Downs cowgirl Jane Ryan as the competitor to beat.

Kenny will be riding her 11-year-old gelding Ted at the finals after the two combined for all-around title wins in 2017 and 2019.

"Ted is the old favourite and reliable and can feel the adrenaline at a rodeo," she said.

While the barrel race and breakaway roping are her main events, Kenny also competes in team roping, often in combination with her 16-year-old brother Tyler. They were fourth at Wandoan in late October.

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They didn't make the team roping finals in January but the odds are they might make the top-15 shootout at the end of the 2022 season.

Her most successful event in the 2021 northern run was the barrel race which she won at Wandoan after a third in the average at Mt Isa and second in the average at the North Queensland Elite Rodeo in August at Townsville.

She now works in administration at the Emsham Mine at Emerald and is saving up the dollars to compete in the United States in 2023 or 2024.

"When I travel to America, I want to take my own horses," Kenny said.

She has six horses in work and does most of the training after work each afternoon.

Kenny will use two Queensland rodeos in early January to finetune her form for the national finals.

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She will compete on Ted at Hervey Bay on January 1 and at Maryborough on January 8.

APRA Program:

  • December 11: Trafalgar Rodeo, Victoria
  • December 30: Albury/Wodonga Pro Rodeo at Kinross Woolshed.
  • December 31: Upper Horton Xtreme Broncs, NSW.
  • January 1: Hervey Bay Rodeo, Queensland.
  • January 1: Tumbarumba Rodeo, NSW.
  • January 2: Junior rodeo at Hervey Bay.
  • January 7: Wangaratta Rodeo, Victoria.
  • January 8: Alexandra Rodeo, Victoria.
  • January 8: Maryborough Rodeo, Queensland.
  • January 8: Carrick Bull Ride, Tasmania.
  • January 9: Junior rodeo at Maryborough.
  • January 15: Xtreme Bulls, Tamworth, NSW.
  • January 21-22: Rounds 1-2 of the Ariat APRA National Finals at Chiltern Racecourse and Recreation Reserve.
  • January 28-29: Rounds 3-4 of the Ariat APRA National Finals at Alexandra Dame Paddy Menzies Centre.
  • January 29: Wilmington Rodeo, South Australia.
  • January 29: Korumburra Rodeo, Victoria.

More information from APRA on 07 4661 8183.

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