Despite vandals pulling the arena down and a week of bad weather leading up to it the APRA National Circuit Finals were held on 22nd April 2006 at the Harveydale Rodeo Ground.
The APRA consists of seven individual rodeo circuits from around Australia. The National Circuit Finals is a state of origin rodeo with the top two competitors in each event from each circuit competing to be the National Circuit Champion in his or her event. The event is held each year and travels around the circuits and from state to state, this year it was again Tassie’s turn to play host to some of Australia’s finest cowboys and cowgirls.
Several attempts were made to sabotage the arena but to no avail as volunteers and businesses offered their help so that the rodeo could go ahead. The arena looked and worked as good as ever with thanks going to Highfield Industries for supplying the arena panels at such short notice and to Elders and Australian Temporary fencing who also offered panels, and to all the volunteers who made the day such a huge success. This kind of endorsement is very encouraging for our sport and it is great to see that some people have their information right and are behind us 100%. With an attendance of some 2000 people on the day it would be fair to say that rodeo continues to be a popular spectator sport within Tasmania.
Eleven Ride Tuff buckles were up for grabs on the day; 9 main event buckles and 2 Allround buckles as well as $1500 prize money per event. The competition was tough but the Tassie cowboys and cowgirls were up to the challenge taking home buckles in the 4 of the 8 events and the buckle for Allround Cowgirl.
The winner of the Saddle Bronc event was Pat Collins from Victoria who is currently sitting 3rd in the APRA Pro Tour Standings. Pat won with an exceptional ride and a score of 80 to beat Lee Bowker’s score of 68 - Lee who is from Victoria is currently leading the Bareback, Saddle Bronc and All Round Titles in the APRA Pro Tour Standings.
The Bull Ride was taken out by Victoria’s Lindsey Friend who scored 75 points with Steve Atkins (Vic) and Leigh Jago (Tas) coming in equal second with a score of 72 points.
There was some spectacular bareback riding - Lee Bowker (Vic) won the bareback with a score of 72 points followed by Gene Macdonald scoring 68 points for second place.
The Steerwrestling was keenly contested with the last competitor Paul Sproule (Tas) taking out the event in a time of 4.95 seconds. Scott Shegog from Victoria who is currently sitting 4th in the APRA Pro Tour Standings took out 2nd place with a time of 6.1 seconds.
Rope & Tie was won by Terry Evison from Victoria in a time of 15.3 seconds with Kelly Hamilton (Tas) taking 2nd place with a time of 16.95 seconds
The Team Roping event was won by Tasmania’s Allround Champion Cowboy Gary King and his partner Dean Woodhouse, they took out the event with a time of 13.9 seconds.
The Barrel racing was won by Tasmania’s 3 x barrel racing champion Angela Bellchambers and her enduring little horse Boo, the duo took out the title in a super quick time of 17.28 seconds
The Breakaway roping was won by Tasmania’s current All round Champion Cowgirl Amber Burns with a time of 3.15 seconds to beat Julie Breed from Victoria with the close time of 3.45 seconds
Tasmania also faired well in the junior events. It was fantastic to see these events so well supported by mainland cowboys and cowgirls.
The Junior Breakaway Roping was won by Dylan Clark from Tasmania in a time of 3.65 seconds
The Junior Steer Ride was won by Bryden Atkins from Victoria with a score of 64 points to beat our local talent Bradley Franklin, and Aaron Lynch from SA (who is currently leading the APRA Pro Tour Standings in the jnr steer ride), by 1 point.
The Junior barrel Race was won by Madeline Good from Tasmania on her new horse Nev in a time that was nearly a second faster than her nearest rival Chantelle Dobson (Tas).
The Allround buckles went to cowboy Lee Bowker (Vic), and cowgirl Amber Burns (Tas). The Junior Allround was won by Dylan Clark (Tas).
The rodeo was a huge success with many mainland competitors passing on their thanks to our committee and Tasmanian people in general who they found to be exceptionally friendly and helpful in their travels.
The Island Rodeo Circuit would like to thank the Harveydale Rodeo Committee for all the hard work they put into making the day a success and to our sponsors: Ride Tuff Buckles, Mungala Rodeo Promotions, Dunkies News’n’Food, Railton Agricultural Lime, Devonport Saddleworld, Livestock and Pet Pantry, The Summer Run Jackpot Series and Ken Green Equine Therapy, your support is greatly appreciated.