Becoming the best in your sport on home soil is hard work. It takes grit, dedication and good dose of patience. So, choosing to continue challenging yourself by heading overseas to take on the-best-of-the-best on their turf, is a gutsy move. But an obvious one for Queensland cowboy, Kobe Miller.
"Growing up hearing stories, seeing friends and my idols within the sport going to college and creating lives for themselves over here in The States, it was a dream I had to chase," said Kobe, the Australian Professional Rodeo Association's 2021 Australian Rookie Team Roping, Heeler, champion.
"People like Dave Worsfold and Johnny Obsourne, now followed by Jake Finlay, Ky Hamilton and Kodie Jang, have set the pathway into the PRCA (the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) for young Aussie pro-rodeo cowboys."
Kobe grew up in the rodeo world, with both parents, Jeff and Shellie, successful in the sport, so he's been competing at a high standard since he was a junior.
"The APRA competition is the best in Australia, I went from the junior program to the opens and was able to learn and develop my skills against many of the people I looked up to when I was a kid - I definitely wouldn't be the competitor I am today without the APRA," Kobe said.
Kobe's impressive rodeo resume, including winning Team Roping Championships, qualifying for the APRA National Finals Rodeo four times, and repeatedly finishing in the top 10 of the standings, saw Kobe receive a scholarship at the Lamar Community College (LCC) in Colorado.
Studying for his Associates in Arts and Science, focusing on business, Kobe has excelled in his classes and has earned himself a position of the College's Presidents List. He is the only international student to receive the accolade.
"My rodeo team coach at LCC is TJ Watts, who last year finished in the top 30 of the PRCA standings in Team Roping - he has been instrumental in my time here and helping with my pathway to compete in the PRCA," Kobe said.
"When I arrived here, I was lucky enough to be able to buy a heel horse, Garry, that TJ had trained.
"I have been working extremely hard on my skills and improving my horsemanship, so with college rodeos starting in the coming month, I'll be roping with Wyatt Wollert, and competing in the PRCA circuit rodeos throughout Colorado in the summer."
For the young cowboys inspired by Kobe's story, he has some practical advice - "use social media to attract college coaches and built a support network when clinicians visit Australia".
To find out how you can get started in rodeo with the APRA go to prorodeo.com.au
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.