Mark Collins
Mark Collins Linda Hepburn

Warwick riders enjoy early success

RODEO: Two riders from Warwick are near the top of Australian Professional Rodeo Association standings after early wins in the new season.

Shellie Miller won the barrel race at the Nebo Rodeo in 15.611 seconds in a field where five cowgirls were timed under 16 seconds.

Mark Collins scored 83 to win the saddle bronc ride from Mitchell rider Greg Hamilton.

The new APRA season started on May 1 and the first two rodeos have been at Nebo and Bundaberg.

Collins finished last season in outstanding form and is one of 15 cowboys who have qualified for the Warwick Rodeo Australian Championships on October 22-25.

Standings leader Michael Maher from Warwick and Collins were the top two in standings at the end of the 2015 season so will go into the finals at the Warwick Showgrounds with the most carry over points.

The championships will be held over four rounds and each of the 15 qualifiers will have the chance to win the title, even if the bottom five will need to win prize money in each round to catch the top qualifiers.

Collins, Maher and Peel Tribe, who was fifth at Nebo, will be the three Warwick riders in the saddle bronc ride at Bowen River Rodeo in North Queensland this weekend.

One of their toughest opponents will be John McNamee from Millmerran.

After this weekend's two-day rodeo at Bowen River, the next APRA rodeos will be on July 10-11 at Emerald, the Junior National Finals Rodeo as well as a bull ride on the first day and a championship points rodeo with all eight events on the second day.



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