THERE are 263 nominations for the Taroom Rodeo on Saturday which heralds the start of a busy month in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association.
Saddle bronc standings leader Tim Hammond will travel from Rosewood, NSW. He is in a field of 25 in the open saddle bronc ride and has drawn the Garry McPhee horse Try Me.
McPhee hails from Lurg, Victoria, and has contracted all the open saddle bronc horses for Taroom.
One of the toughest opponents for Hammond will be Wandoan rider Cameron Webster who can call Taroom his home rodeo.
Webster is eighth in APRA Pro Tour standings and will attempt a winning ride on Cajun Lady. Taroom is only 60kms to the north of Wandoan so he will be one of the riders with the most crowd support.
NSW rider Cody Angland will be one to beat along with Mitchell cowboy Greg Hamilton. Angland has drawn Ring Of Roses and Hamilton is on Miss Cactus.
Warwick rider Michael Maher is just in the top-15 in saddle bronc standings in 14th place and can consolidate his spot for the finals with a win at Taroom.
He won the saddle bronc for three years in succession at the richest rodeo in the APRA at Mt Isa so will be one to watch as Northern Run action hots up.
There are 18 cowboys in the open bull ride and 16 in second division. One of the favourites in the open event will be Dysart star Sonny Schafferius.
Bareback bronc ride standings leader Ben Hall from Tumbarumba in New South Wales can increase his lead in the standings with a win at Taroom.
Wandoan's David Worsford will provide the toughest opposition to Hall.
Queensland pair Darcy Kesch and Shane Kenny will go into the rope and tie at Taroom on third and fourth spots in the standings.
Taroom rider James McGuire-Spalding will compete in the steer wrestling and team roping while his brother Stuart is in the rope and tie.
Moree rider Wendy Caban is a past winner of every buckle in the cowgirl events and is in the ladies barrel race and breakaway roping as well as the open team roping. Her husband Troy is also in the team roping.
With rodeo action in five towns in the next three weeks of the Northern Run, competitors have a great chance to secure a spot in the top 15 for the Warwick Rodeo APRA Nationals Finals on October 24-27.
The first three rounds of the finals are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the Warwick Showgrounds with the final round on the Sunday afternoon.
July 20: Taroom Rodeo
July 27: Richmond Rodeo
July 28: Hughenden Flinders River Timed Event Rodeo
August 2: Cloncurry Xtreme Bulls Rodeo
August 2: Cloncurry Junior Rodeo
August 2-3: Cloncurry Rodeo
August 8-11: Mt Isa Rodeo