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Top horsemanship and spills thrill crowd at 2016 Queanbeyan Rodeo

Queanbeyan Rodeo is the penultimate competition in the southern region round and there were plenty of thrills and spills on Saturday.

There were darting animals, daring riders and plenty that hit the dust at the 2016 Queanbeyan Rodeo. 

The showground was brimming with energy as Saturday's rodeo got under way in blaring 31-degree heat. 

There was warm weather and hot competition as the region's cowgirls and cowboys went head-to-head in barrel racing, bull riding, breakaway roping, bareback, Saddle Bronc and more for up to $3000 in prize money for top events. 

Seven time women's barrel race champion Tania Schiller, of Wagga, said riders came from far and wide to Queanbeyan because it was "one of the best rodeos in NSW". 

"It's the atmosphere and the way the committee put it together. It pays well, which is a big drawcard but it's also run so professionally," she said. 

The 51-year-old has participated in rodeos since she was 10 and said her chosen event, barrel racing, got the crowd on their feet. 


"There's a lot of thrill, it's a speed event," she said. 

"There are three 44-gallon drums in a clover leaf pattern and a set direction you have [to] move through them. You have to be fast but it demands a lot of co-ordination and a lot of training to get a horse up to that stage." 

She rode her five-year old Spicy Acres in the novice barrel acing event, which she said laid the foundations and trained the horse to remain calm and perform in a loud environment. 

Along with the dust, the Dagwood dogs and the doughnuts, there was plenty of great boot-scooting fashions. 

Spectators enjoyed hours of impressive horsemanship and a few spills, the most worrying of which happened in the novice saddle event, where a hefty buck left Travis Keen laid flat out in the arena at the foot of his horse. 

The crowd were holding their breath and, as the young rider stood up dazed and confused, the announcer in the background shouted "there you have it ladies and gents, the most dangerous sport there is." 

The Queanbeyan Rodeo is the penultimate event in the southern region circuit and Ashleigh Hodson, of Yass, was out on Saturday vying to keep her lead. 

"I'm leading the southern zone title for steer undecorating," she said. "Braidwood next weekend will be the last chance to earn points and hopefully I can get that win." 

She said more than the glory of clinching top spots, people involved in rodeo loved the adrenaline and the talent it took to take on top riders.

"It's tough competition, really is," she said. "There are so many variables, particularly in breakaway rope, there's your horse, yourself and your mentality and then you never know how the beast is going to move."