Queensland is now home to five Australian Professional Rodeo Association Australian Rookie Champions after the recent Ariat APRA National Finals in Victoria last month.
Rodeo is a sport of highs and lows. And right now, no one knows that better than Rookie Breakaway Roping Champion Amber Patteson.
After being forced to take a break from her favourite event, the barrel race, due to her horse failing, Amber found herself in the breakaway roping pen.
"It's not necessarily my event, but I guess now I know I have options," Amber said.
And with her breakaway horse now in foal, after several years of trying, Amber has found herself facing a re-focus for 2022.
"You never plan on your horses going out, or failing, so it's tough mentally, especially when you work with just one horse," she said.
"This year I'm going to focus on my breeding business, working with my colt to see just what he can do."
Stay tuned rodeo fans, this Rockhampton cowgirl's love of rodeo will see her back in an arena soon.
Toogoolawah's Hilary Thrift is another go-getter cowgirl who has just ticked off a goal she had at the start of 2021 - taking the 2021 Rookie Barrel Race Champion title.
"It was something I wanted to achieve when the season began," Hilary said.
"And I'm a very determined person, so if I write it down, I tick it off."
After starting in equestrian sports during her school years, Hilary quickly switched to the high school rodeo program in Warwick - and she hasn't looked back.
"After I left school, I just worked away at turning over horses, working hard to afford a better horse, and after that purchase, I had to compete for a year on him before even winning a check," she said.
"I don't come from a horsey family; I've done it all on my own and without it taking a lot of money. I want more girls to know they can do it too."
Congratulations to fellow Queenslanders Kobe Miller, Gavin Fry and Donovan Rutherfurd on their championship titles below.
2021 ROOKIE ALL AROUND CHAMPION COWBOY - Jarrod McKane. Sponsored by AgSolutions Australia
2021 ROOKIE ALL AROUND CHAMPION COWGIRL - Ashleigh Bush. Sponsored by TuffRock Australia
2021 ROOKIE BAREBACK CHAMPION - Jarrod McKane
2021 ROOKIE BREAKAWAY ROPING CHAMPION - Amber Patteson
2021 ROOKIE ROPE AND TIE CHAMPION - Lochlan Flanagan
2021 ROOKIE BARREL RACE CHAMPION - Hilary Thrift
2021 ROOKIE TEAM ROPING CHAMPION, HEADER - Daniel
2021 ROOKIE TEAM ROPING CHAMPION, HEELER - Kobe Miller
2021 ROOKIE SADDLE BRONC CHAMPION - Gavin Fry
2021 ROOKIE STEER WRESTLING CHAMPION - Lochlan Flanagan
2021 ROOKIE BULL RIDE CHAMPION - Donovan Rutherfurd
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