TALENTED RIDERS: The Australian High School Rodeo Association team (back row, from left) Ebony Labuschewski, Finn Christensen, Jackson Gray, Sam Agius and Karl Hocking; and (front row, from left) Keeley Sibson, Kasey Bean, Amy-Lee Paul, Bianca Lumby and Lani Alexander. Absent are Cooper Hobbs and Clayton Carlson.
TALENTED RIDERS: The Australian High School Rodeo Association team (back row, from left) Ebony Labuschewski, Finn Christensen, Jackson Gray, Sam Agius and Karl Hocking; and (front row, from left) Keeley Sibson, Kasey Bean, Amy-Lee Paul, Bianca Lumby and Lani Alexander. Absent are Cooper Hobbs and Clayton Carlson. CONTRIBUTED

CQ rodeo stars to mix it with New Zealand's best

RODEO: Central Queensland has the lion's share of representatives in the Australian High School Rodeo Association team, which will saddle up in the 2018 Trans-Tasman Challenge.

The 12 young rodeo stars flew out of Rockhampton on Thursday, bound for New Zealand where they will compete in two rodeos in Whangarei and one at Wairoa.

The Australian and New Zealand teams are made up of three competitors in bull riding, steer riding, barrel racing and breakaway roping.

Association president Chris Christensen is expecting a strong showing from the Aussies.

"We're certainly in with a good chance,” he said.

"We're fielding a very talented team.

"We won the last one at the end of last year in Australia and the year before it was a tie in the New Zealand leg so hopefully we can take it out this time.”

Consistency earns the talented young cowboys and cowgirls their place in the Australian team. Points they earn from rodeos they contest across the year are accumulated to ultimately determine the top three in each of the four disciplines.

Christensen said the challenge, now in its 18th year, was an opportunity for the rising rodeo stars.

"It's a great initiative and all of the team members are really excited. This gives them a bit of a taste of international competition, and they also get to travel and experience another country.”


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