STARS: Victorian couple Lee Kimber and Cherie O'Donoghue at a Warwick Rodeo. Insets: Kimber (left) and O'Donoghue (right).
STARS: Victorian couple Lee Kimber and Cherie O'Donoghue at a Warwick Rodeo. Insets: Kimber (left) and O'Donoghue (right). Gerard Walsh

Class ropers travelling from Victoria for rodeo finals

LEE Kimber won't have any trouble finding the Warwick Showgrounds at this year's Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft, which will be held October 22-28.

He was a student at Warwick State High School in Year 8 and lived in Cleary St, just around the corner from the Warwick Showgrounds.

"I didn't mind my year at Warwick High,” he said.

"I remember my brother Heath and Shane Kenny riding horses from our place to compete at a Warwick Rodeo.”

Lee moved to Victoria 13 years ago and operates a hay farm at Lockington near Ballarat.

He and partner Cherie O'Donoghue have a seven-year-old son, Beau.

"Beau has a bit of a go around the barrels but he is right into martial arts,” Lee said.

The three of them were on the road to a string of rodeos in Victoria from Boxing Day to Easter.

"We then travelled north to Cloncurry, Mt Isa and Darwin rodeos,” he said.

Lee rates Warwick and Mt Isa rodeos as two of the rodeos he most enjoys.

"I like them all, Lang Lang is a really good rodeo in Victoria,” he said.

With Lee in the rope and tie, steer wrestling and team roping and O'Donoghue in breakaway roping, there is a chance they could both win a championship buckle in Warwick.

"We both went home with a buckle in 2006,” he said.

They grow hay on their Victorian farm and transport their own hay to buyers as far away as North Queensland.

When called by the Daily News in late September, Lee was cutting oaten hay and will be the most popular rider at the rodeo if he brings some excess hay north for the national finals.

Drafting on

UP TO 2000 nominations are expected in the five campdrafts at the Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft.

Warwick Show and Rodeo Society president Gerard O'Leary said there would be working bees each weekend in the run-up to the rodeo.

"We will have the new yards and laneways ready at least a week before the rodeo and campdraft,” O'Leary said.

"It will be safer for volunteers and members of the public with the new yards and laneways.”

First round action will start at 6am on October 22 and there will be action in both the Pryde's EasiFeed Warwick Gold Cup and the Canning Downs Campdraft on the first three days of the rodeo and campdraft.

The standard of campdraft will be as good as any in Australia, as only horses that have won a maiden draft are eligible for the two major campdrafts.

O'Leary is expecting campdrafters from as far as Victoria, Northern Territory and the Queensland gulf country to compete in Warwick.

"For the first time, the Warwick Rodeo APRA National Finals will start on the Wednesday night,” he said.

"The Wednesday rodeo action is free to the public, last year spectators had to pay for entry for all four rounds of the finals.”

The fourth round of the national finals will be on the Saturday night and spectators will be able to watch second-division and junior finals on the Sunday.



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