Rodeo enthusiasts to saddle up at Gympie Show
RODEO: They are the young champions riding for glory at this year's Show rodeo, recently placing first and third at the National Rodeo Association Junior Steer Ride in Miriam Vale.
Widgee rider Will Ward took out first place in the junior steer ride and Mary Valley rider Wesley McDonald placed third last Saturday.
Wesley, 13, said yesterday he was looking forward to competing against his mate on Saturday.
"I don't necessarily see it as being competitive, but it's about having fun and hanging out with your mates,” he said.
"I've been riding for the past five years and I still get nervous but it's all part of riding bulls. I don't think I'm the only one who feels it. You have to learn to enjoy it and not worry about getting hurt.”
Wesley is saving his winnings for a good cause.
"I've been saving some of my winnings to buy a ute.
"I would like to be a professional bull rider when I finish school. My mates are always encouraging me and supporting me. Whenever I get bucked, they give me constructive criticism on how I could improve the next time.”
The challenging aspect of riding steers is "staying on them” (surprise surprise).
Will, 15, has been riding for two years and said it was the adrenaline of the sport that drove him to success.
"It's about spending time with your mates doing something that you love,” he said.
"Competing at the NRA Steer Ride competition in Miriam Vale at the weekend was a lot of fun. It was great to see the community come out to support the riders.
"I am excited about the Show this weekend. There is always a huge crowd at the Gympie Show.”
The rodeo will commence this Saturday at 9am and go all day.
Nominations this year have exceeded expectations, Ring steward John Warren said.
"It's going to be a very exciting day and we're all looking forward to it.”