There was no more fitting place than the 2022 Ariat Australian Professional Rodeo Association National Finals Rodeo to recognise all of the stars who compete and perform in the sport.
A new initiative, supported by competitors and long-term APRA partner Tuff Rock Australia, the Horse of the Year awards recognised the sport's equine athletes - for their talent and contribution they make to the sport of pro-rodeo in Australia.
Congratulations to the following equine athletes and their owners:
Rope & tie - Jellybean owned by Shane Kenny
Steer wrestling - Dave owned by Shane Kenny
Hazing horse - Scamp owned by Shane Kenny
Team roping header - Drifter owned by Ben Smith
Team roping heeler - Boss owned by Liam Davison
Barrel race - Morns Akka Dakka owned by Leanne Caban
Breakaway roping - Deadly owned by Jane Ryan
The APRA welcomed Rockhampton agent and ol'-time bullfighter Brian Dawson, of Brian Dawson Auctions, to recognise the sport's protection athletes.
The2022 Pick-up Man of the Year title went to Peter Kelly and the 2022 Bullfighter of the Year was awarded to Luke Rosetta.
Both Peter and Luke kept the sport's Top 15 competitors and officials safe at the Ariat APRA National Finals Rodeo as part of the Brian Dawson Auctions Livestock & Property Marketing protection team.
The 15 livestock contractors supplied a team of 100 horses and 55 bulls, led by the 2022 APRA Bucking Stock of the Year winners - 624GB Moves Like Jagger, saddle bronc - 666GB Kickstart, bull ride - 642GB Wrangler Jewel, bareback - all out of the Gill Bros Rodeo camp with the Gill Bros team receiving their Bob Berg buckles during the event presentations.
In addition to the prestigious 2022 Australian champion titles won at the NFR, the aggregate champions also took home a title and their own Bob Berg gold buckle.
Congratulations to the following competitors who were consistent across each of the NFR's four rounds:
NFR aggregate champion cowboy - Cameron Southern
NFR aggregate champion cowgirl - Ellysa Kenny
Saddle bronc aggregate champion - Greg Hamilton
Bull ride aggregate champion - Ty Thomson
Bareback aggregate champion - Luke Higgins
Rope & tie aggregate champion - Campbell Hodson
Steer wrestling aggregate champion - Ryley Gibb
Team roping, header, aggregate champion - Jayden Kenny
Team roping, heeler, aggregate champion - Shane Kenny
Barrel race aggregate champion - Leanne Caban
Breakaway roping aggregate champion - Jorja Iker
The NFR was the culmination of the 2022 season for these competitors, who are now well into the 2023 season with the association's New Year run shaping up to provide regional communities with the opportunity to experience the sport.
A full rodeo calendar is available from www.prorodeo.com.au
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