Rider hangs on for victory
WARWICK cowboy Mark Collins has moved to third on the Australian Professional Rodeo Association standings with a win in the saddle bronc ride at the Emerald Rodeo.
Lucas Wilson recently took the lead in the standings which gives Warwick two of the top three after two of the five weekends of the Northern Run in the APRA.
Collins won at Emerald with a score of 83, three ahead of Wilson, and four points in front of standings runner-up Andrew Turvey, of Thallon.
He won $1950 for the victory at Emerald on Cheyenne Girl from the Garry McPhee string.
“I rode the same mare at Mt Isa last year and missed the final by two points but she bucked really well at Emerald,” Collins said.
The ride at Emerald was his second best in the APRA. Last year, he scored 84 on the John “Happy” Gill horse Red Man in placing at an international rodeo in Melbourne.
While nothing is guaranteed in rodeo, Collins is confident he has already won enough money to finish in the top 15 and qualify for his first National Finals Rodeo in the APRA.
Collins and fellow Warwick saddle bronc rider Michael Maher, who is eighth on the standings, will be on the road again tomorrow for the Longreach Stockman's Hall of Fame State Championship Rodeo on Saturday and the Richmond Rodeo in North Queensland.
The following weekend takes them to Cloncurry, then Mt Isa and in mid August, Darwin.
“I have too much work (as a builder) to do to stay up north and will be back to work each week,” he said.
Collins is a title winner in the National Rodeo Association but is concentrating on the professional circuit this year.
“I want to challenge myself a bit more,” he said.
While he is third in the open APRA standings, Collins is second in rookie standings behind Turvey.
The cowboys with the most money for the season win pro tour titles.