Queensland riders will have two rodeos in the new year to fine-tune their form for the Ariat Australian Professional Rodeo Association National Finals in late January.
Rodeo action will start with a New Year's Day rodeo at Hervey Bay and then on January 8 an open rodeo will be held at Maryborough.
The Hervey Bay rodeo is at the Fraser Coast Sports Recreation Precinct with the main action from 1pm, while the at Maryborough, the Maryborough Showground will be the venue.
Both rodeos are new events for the APRA.
The national finals will be on January 21-29 at Chiltern and Alexandra in Victoria and the two Fraser Coast rodeos will be the last chance for riders to have a run in Queensland before the finals.
Some Queensland riders may head south for rodeos in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia starting at the Albury Pro Rodeo at Kinross Woolshed on December 30 and continuing to the Xtreme Bulls weekend on January 14-15 at the AELEC Arena at Tamworth.
One of the southern rodeos is at Alexandra on January 8 which is a chance for riders to experience some action at one of the national final venues.
The bulls, timed event cattle and horses for the Fraser Coast rodeos will be contracted by Shane and Leanne Kenny, of Destiny Downs Cattle Company at Emerald and by Jack and Tim McArthur CMC Rodeo Company.
At both Hervey Bay and Maryborough, junior rodeos will be held at the same venues on the day after the open rodeos on January 1 and January 8.
APRA chairman Shane Iker is upbeat about the numbers of new rodeos being planned under the umbrella of the APRA.
"There is a lot of growth of rodeos in NSW as well as other states," he said.
"A lot of the increased interest is in the saddle bronc event with Xtreme Broncs Rodeos being well supported," he said.
Queensland has half of the national finalists in some of the seven championship events to be contested in Victoria.
Two Queensland riders, Campbell Hodson of Charters Towers, and Emerald cowgirl Ellysa Kenny head the cowboy and cowgirl standings going into the finals.
For more information from APRA, call (07) 4661 8183.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.