CABOOLTURE rider Lachlan O’Neill has proved you don’t have to live in the bush to be a standings leader in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association.
Lachlan is the leader in 2016-2017 steer wrestling standings from fellow Queenslander Jamie Reynolds, of Clermont. Lachlan’s brother Jordan is sitting 16th in steer wrestling.
The O’Neills live in one of Queensland’s fastest growing regions and have mixed it with the best in steer wrestling for much of the past decade.
Queensland riders are the kings in steer wrestling with 17 of the top 20 from the Sunshine state.
The best of the interstate riders is Scone auctioneer Heath Nichols in eighth place in the standings.
After missing the top-15 for this year’s national finals in steer wrestling, last year’s champion Shane Kenny, of Emerald, is showing the form which is set to put him back in the top 15 for the national finals in October, 2017. He is currently 10th in the standings, one spot ahead of Alton Downs cowboy Shane Iker.
While Shane Kenny’s best events are roping, his brother Kacey is best at steer wrestling and like his brother has secured a top-15 position early in the current season. Kacey is 12th after the first four months of the new season in steer wrestling.
In a change to the season to link in with the annual The Carlton Dry Warwick Rodeo National Finals on the last weekend in October, riders will have 17 months to build up prize money this season to secure a position in the top 15.
With the 2015-2016 season ending on April 30 this year, the end of the season from next year on will be September 30.
Early in the new season, Queensland riders topped nine of the 11 standings lists, including the all around cowboy standings where Shane Kenny leads from Shane Iker.
Standings leaders in new season: All around Shane Kenny (Emerald), saddle bronc Michael Maher (Warwick), bull ride Jared Borghero (Alton Downs), bareback David Worsfold (Wandoan), rope and tie Mark Knox (Ebenezer), steer wrestling Lachlan O’Neill (Caboolture), team roping header Shane Kenny (Emerald), team roping heeler Cameron Milner (Townsville), all around cowgirl Jo Caldwell (Murrurundi), barrel race Jo Caldwell (Murrurundi), breakaway roping Leanne Caban (Emerald).
October 2 – Marrabel (SA) 79th Rodeo; October 19 Hobart Bulls and Barrels (Tas);
October 27-30 – The Carlton Dry Warwick Rodeo National Finals.
November 5 – Keith (SA), Melton Mowbray (Tas),
November 12 – Kapunda (SA);
November 19 – Rouse Hill Xtreme Bulls (NSW).