National title in sights of champ Michael Maher
WARWICK cowboy Michael Maher has created history with a win at his hometown rodeo on top of his win at this year's Mt Isa Rodeo.
Commentator Terry Murray knows everything there is to know about rough stock riding and said he believed the win by Maher was the first Warwick/Mt Isa win in the saddle bronc in the same year, at least in recent memory.
After his win, Maher was quick to pay tribute to Darryl Joe Kong for his coaching down the years.
"My family has helped me, I remember when I was young and there were bucking horses at home to practise on," Maher said.
"Trevor and Tina Ross Bobcat Hire are my major sponsors."
At age 12, Maher was a junior national champion in whip cracking and now 14 years later is eyeing off another national championship win.
After wins at the two biggest rodeos on the Australian Professional Rodeo Association circuit, Maher is odds on to win the title at the National Finals Rodeo next year after narrowly missing in his first finals appearance.
He has competed in America and would love to return one day.
In yesterday's lap of honour, he was delighted to receive a big cheer from family on the south-east corner of the arena.
His win was even better as he pushed past national champions Brad Pierce and Rhys Angland (both NSW) into second and third places.
Young gun Carl Green from Walcha (NSW) split third with Angland.
Maher's close mate Mark Collins finished second in the second round of the saddle bronc to pick up a handy pay cheque but missed out on any chance of a place in the aggregate as he had no score on Saturday after the judges stated he didn't mark out correctly.
Collins scored 77 in round 2, two points behind Green.