WAGGA is a far cry from Prosser Pine in the Whitsundays but it is a place that will always be special for Emma Deicke.
Emma has an interest in rodeo and the horse industry that runs deep. And growing up on a 25,000 acre beef cattle and sugar cane property meant riding horses – and riding well – wasn’t just a rite of passage it was a necessity.
Tomorrow she will take centre stage in front of a crowd of thousands at the Equex Centre, during the grand entry at the Wagga Professional Rodeo.
It is a moment she is looking forward to. And it will be her first official duty after being crowned as the Australian Professional Rodeo Association’s (APRA) Miss Rodeo Australia.
What I am most looking forward to is riding a horse and carrying the Australian flag while the national anthem plays.
“What I am most looking forward to is hopping on a horse and carrying the Australian flag,” she said.
Emma arrived in Wagga on Thursday and was on hand at the Equex Centre Friday afternoon to catch up with industry stalwart and stock contractor John “Happy” Gill and his team. Mr Gill said interest had been enormous and the rodeo attracted the current all-around champion cowboy and all-around champion cowgirl.
Shane Kenny holds the title of being the APRA’s all around cowboy and will be representing Emerald, Queensland. He is considered one of the sport’s toughest timed-event (roping and steer wrestling) competitors. And travelling from the other end of Australia – southern Victoria – is APRA barrel racing and all-around cowgirl Shianne O'Donoghue.
Mr Gill said one of the unique things about Wagga and the Riverina was the fact that it was a breeding ground for champion competitors in both timed event and rough stock events.
He said there would be local names on the program – who spectators know and relate to – he said Ben Thorp of Young was one to watch out for in the bull riding.
Brad Pierce of Tooma is an accomplished bronc riding competitor and has won Australian titles.
And in-form bareback rider Ben Hall of Tumbarumba was also in the draw. Action starts at Equex Centre at 5pm.
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