MANY of the best riders in the nation will head to north-east Victoria for the Myrtleford Rodeo on Boxing Day.
The rodeo at Myrtleford is the first of nine on the Christmas Run in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and SA.
The Smithton Rodeo and Stockmans Challenge is on December 30-31 in Tasmania, the only two-day event on the Christmas Run.
Queensland has two rodeos on New Year’s Eve, a full points rodeo at Mitchell and an Xtreme Bulls Rodeo at the Great Western Hotel in Rockhampton.
Gill Brothers from Upper Horton, NSW will head to Rockhampton for the Xtreme Bulls event.
The contractors from Upper Horton won the three Australian Professional Rodeo Association Bucking Stock of the Year awards in 2018.
Little Egypt was voted by the riders as the bucking bareback horse of the year. Moves Like Jagger was the bucking saddle bronc of the year.
Eye Candy from Gill Brothers is bucking bull of the year and is rarely ridden in a discipline where no riders make time in some bull rides.
The best of the best bulls from all contractors were chosen for the national finals and there were only five winning rides out of 75 attempts.
The bulls are too good for most cowboys in Australia at present so staying on for eight seconds almost guarantees a rider a place and some prize money.
One of the new rodeos on the Christmas Run this year is at Alexandra, Victoria. Garry McPhee from Lurg, Vic, will contract the horses and bulls for the bucking events.
Two of the riders to watch on the Christmas Run are Victorian pair Amber Burns and Julie Breed, the top two in breakaway roping in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association.
Breed is fourth and Burns fifth in barrel racing standings after two months of the new APRA season.
Current roping record holder Candy Michaelis shows her versatility by going to the lead in the barrel racing standings. She is ahead of Hayley Rogers (SA) and Brooke Parker (Vic).
Christmas Run Rodeos
December 26: Myrtleford Golden Spurs Rodeo, Victoria
December 28: Yarrawonga Rodeo, Victoria
December 29: Carrieton Rodeo, South Australia
December 30-31: Smithton Rodeo and Stockman’s Challenge, Tasmania
January 1: Tumbarumba Rodeo, NSW
January 2: Rich River Timed Events, Victoria
January 4 : Finley Rodeo, NSW
January 5: Wangaratta Rodeo, Victoria
January 6: K Ranch Rodeo, Mt Hunter, NSW