THE last round of the Warwick APRA National Finals Rodeo will return to a Sunday timeslot this year.
The Australian Professional Rodeo Association and Warwick Show and Rodeo Society have agreed for the next three years to make Warwick the home of the national finals.
Last year, the four rounds of the open finals were held each night from Wednesday to Saturday at the Warwick Showgrounds but this year the rounds will be on Thursday to Saturday nights and during the day on Sunday.
The presentations for each event will be at the Warwick Showgrounds on the Sunday after the final round of the finals.
APRA chairman Shane Iker said the top 15 in all eight APRA events would qualify for the finals.
"Competitors must compete in five rodeos to be eligible for a spot in the finals," he said.
"We have been pushing to have a long term home for the open finals and Warwick fits the best. It is where our office is situated.
"The APRA want the open finals to get bigger and better each year. Sponsorship for the finals looks the best it has for a long time."
The national finals have been held in conjunction with the Warwick Rodeo in recent years and Iker said some of the factors in staying in Warwick included the all-weather arena at the Warwick Showgrounds.
"Warwick has always been the rodeo town and we want to keep the finals in the town, the finals are supported well by Warwick residents," he said.
Iker said crowds at APRA rodeos around Australia were up this year.
"We had 6000 patrons at the Nebo Rodeo and they had to close the gates at 7.30pm," Iker said.
In a move that is likely to be popular with competitors, the APRA will now use Bob Berg Buckles for presentation to the champions at the Warwick Rodeo.
"Bob Berg formerly lived in the Fassifern Valley in Queensland and is now one of the most recognised buckle makers in the world," he said.
The bull ride is shaping up to be one of the closest contests at the final.
PBR champion Aaron Kleier is now aiming to make the Warwick APRA National Finals and will come up against last year's winner Brady Fielder from Rockhampton at the Warwick APRA National Finals.
Current bull ride standings leader Will Purcell (Victoria) is in front of past champions Jason O'Hearn, Troy Wilkinson and Fielder in the standings and all will be a strong chance to win in Warwick.
The Warwick APRA National Finals will be supported by second division and junior events.
Iker said the APRA was working with the Southern Downs Regional Council to make the finals bigger and better each year.
The Warwick APRA National Finals Rodeo this year is on October 24-27.
THE APRA Junior National Finals will be held at the Emerald Rodeo Grounds this weekend.
There will be two rounds of the finals on Friday night and the third round on Saturday night.
The Saturday finals will be held in conjunction with the Emerald Ag Grow Rodeo which will have open, second division and junior events.
The leaders in the junior steer ride going into the finals are Queensland rider Lleyton Marks and NSW star Tejay Angland.