Topics:  australian professional rodeo association, mark collins, rodeo, warwick

Mark saddles up

Mark Collins will be in action in the APRA finals this week.
Mark Collins will be in action in the APRA finals this week. www.kenyonsportsphotos.com.au

MARK Collins hopes to draw the horse Troubled Waters as he aims to win his first saddle bronc title in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association Jupiters National Finals Rodeo which starts tonight.

Rounds are on tonight, tomorrow night, Saturday afternoon and night and Sunday afternoon at the Gold Coast Convention Centre.

The builder from Wheatvale is competing for a second time in the finals after finishing third overall last year.

"I have had a better lead-up this year, with two wins, three seconds and a third in my past six pro rodeos," Collins said.

He won the saddle bronc ride at the Jandowae Rodeo on Saturday night with a score of 81 on the Honky Tonk horse Miss Juicy.

He admits getting a bit nervous but mainly before the horse draw.

"Once I know my horse, I can then plan for the ride," he said.

Drawing the best horse will give Collins his best chance of a title win.

His dream draw is Troubled Waters, from the Gill Brothers string.

"I scored 82 on the horse at Caboolture. You are almost assured of a score in the 80s if you ride the horse to time."

Collins has been training on his practice bucking horse weekly for the past two months.

"Cameron Turner and Scott Keogh have been giving me ideas where I can improve," he said.

Collins prefers riding indoors, which will be the case at the Gold Coast this week.

"The Melbourne International at the Rod Laver Arena is the best rodeo I have competed in, you look up and see all the people," he said.

Gore rider Fred Osman is currently working at Broken Hill but flew in to the Gold Coast yesterday.

Osman will use experience gained in North America last year in quest of his first bareback title.

Meanwhile, Brock Mulhall has called Warwick home for the past two years and returns to competition this weekend after a recent injury.

He will compete in the bareback bronc ride and team roping.



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