FOUR past all around cowgirl champions will be in action as the Australian Professional Rodeo Association holds rodeos in three states on Saturday.
There are excellent nominations for the three rodeos, Yarra Valley Rodeo in Victoria, the Powranna Bull Ride and Rodeo in Tasmania and the Peterborough Golden Spurs Rodeo in South Australia.
Four of the riders in the Yarra Valley Rodeo on Saturday are past APRA all around cowgirl winners.
Current champion Elley Hulls from Victoria is in the field along with 2017 champion Ellysa Kenny from Emerald.
Lockington, Victoria, cowgirl Cherie O’Donoghue has the most all around cowgirl titles in APRA history and will compete in the rodeo at the Yarra Glen Racecourse.
Stephanie Gard, from Table Top, NSW, is also a past winner of the all around cowgirl title at the Warwick Rodeo APRA National Finals and will also compete at Yarra Valley.
Hulls won the all around and breakaway roping titles in 2018.
SA rider Candy Michaelis won the national title for the barrel race last year and will be one of the top riders in the Peterborough Golden Spurs Rodeo this Saturday.
Michaelis has nominated in a field of 19 for the barrel race at Peterborough. Some of her biggest opposition will come from Amanda Tielan who has shone at recent national finals.
Rough stock star Tom Willoughby will be chasing prize money in his own state when he competes in four events at Peterborough. Willoughby has drawn Pure Evil in the bull ride and will be aiming to stay on his bareback horse High Heels for eight seconds.
Some riders from the mainland will head to Tasmania for the Powranna Bull Ride and Rodeo on Saturday.
Sam Woodall will go into the two rounds of the bull ride as favourite after scoring 88 to win round 2 of the national finals in Warwick in October.
Few riders score 88 or higher which makes Woodall one of the most promising riders in the country. Two years ago, Woodall competed for the Australian High School rodeo team in the United States.
Tasmanian rider Guy Goss will be one of the favourites to upset favourite Woodall in the bull ride at Powranna. Goss has drawn the bulls Dan Murphy and Bush Bandit at a rodeo where there will be two rounds of the bull ride.
Karen Fish Jnr will be one of the favourites for the barrel race at Powranna in a field of 28.
The large nominations at each of the three rodeos this Saturday shows that riders are hoping to build up early season points to press their claims for a top-15 finish and qualification for the APRA national finals later this year.
Yarra Valley (Vic), at Yarra Glen Racecourse, 4:30pm start
Peterborough Golden Spurs Rodeo (SA) Peterborough Rodeo Grounds and 6:30pm start
Powranna Bull Ride and Rodeo (Tas) 6pm start