Big names to compete at Alpha rodeo

THIS weekend’s Alpha Rodeo may not hold all the prestige of the Mount Isa Rodeo but they’ve got the next best thing, the Isa’s bull riding winner David Kennedy.

The champion bull rider will be matched in a quality field with Cloncurry Rodeo champion Lee Shrimp, from Blackall, also on the list of nominations for the Saturday night competition.

Rodeo co-ordinator Lenard Coyne said the timing was a deliberate ploy to attract competitors for the once a year event held in support of breast cancer awareness.

“We tried to combine it with the Isa rodeo and pick up a few of the riders on their way back home,” Lenard said.

“All proceeds will go to breast cancer, it’s a 100% not-for-profit event.”

Alpha barrel racer Jackie O’Dell will saddle up alongside Leanne Kenny and Leanne Caban.

“She (O’Dell) has been going pretty good – she’s had a few nice runs,” Lenard said.

So far the committee has received 35 open bull ride nominations, 25 in the ladies barrel race and more than 20 in the junior events.

“Unfortunately we lost a few juniors who have gone on to Darwin chasing the rookie title,” he said.

Previously the rodeo has been staged outside of Alpha, however developments over the Christmas break offered a fresh start for the annual event.

“The Alpha Brumbies cancelled their event because of the floods, so we picked up where they left off,” Lenard said.

“We’ve had great support from the people in Alpha, we certainly can’t whinge.”

The action starts tomorrow from 6pm at the Alpha Showgrounds.

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