23 January, 2024
Fab four head south for national finals
HOURS of dedication to one of the most dangerous sports in the world has paid off for four local bull riders, who this week will compete at the Australian Bushman’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association’s (ABCRA) National Finals Rodeo in Tamworth.
The association selects only the top 15 competitors across Australia for each rodeo discipline to compete with some of the highest-ranking bulls the circuit has to offer.
Mareeba’s Josh Snell, Dimbulah’s Weston Hilditch, Biboohra’s Joel Jaszczyszyn and Malanda’s Cody Licciardo have gone above and beyond in the ABCRA circuit and will be bucking it out in the national arena.
Snell will be competing in the 11-Under 14 Mini Bull ride and the 11-under 14 Steer Ride, Hilditch will take on the 8-U11 mini bulls, steer ride and barrel race, Jaszczyszyn will take on the 8-U11 mini bulls and steer ride and Licciardo will compete in the 8-U11 mini bull ride.
Kicking off today (24 January), over 3000 spectators are expected to attend the big event, and Licciardo, is keen to put on his best show.
“It makes me feel really excited and nervous at the same time,” he said.
“I like the adrenaline (when bull riding), and it’s a lot of fun.”
For young Hilditch, this will be his first ever National Titles, and he is keen to give it his all.
"This is my first National Finals. I started competing in Mini Bull Riding and Steer Riding in 2023," he said.
"I was lucky enough to do well in my first year competing in Roughstock events and earn a place in both Under 11 Mini Bulls & Steers at the National Finals.
"I also earned a spot in the Under 11 Barrel Race. I can’t bring my horse “Beggin” down to Tamworth this year, but some nice rodeo people that live in Kempsey (NSW) will be bringing a horse for me to compete on at the Finals.
"I get to meet him (the horse) the night before I ride, and won’t have time to even have a practice run!!
"I’m excited to compete in three events at the Finals, there’s new bucking stock that I’ve never seen before, and I’m riding a Barrel horse that I’ve never ridden before."