Australia's rodeo queen rides high
AUSTRALIA's Miss Rodeo had her first official outing in Lismore yesterday since being crowned in Texas, Queensland, earlier this month
Caitlyn McPhee, 19, hit the streets of Lismore to check out the show-themed window displays around town.
The almost two-metre tall Warwick-based rodeo rider kept the boys on their toes as she discharged her duties with aplomb.
“I wanted to come and help the Lismore rodeo get off the ground, considering this is its first year here in I don't know how long,” she said.
“It's great to see Lismore putting on a full rodeo again as part of the Lismore Show, instead of just the bull-riding. It's a championship points rodeo so all the cowboys will be coming, with all points going towards the national finals.”
The champion breakaway and barrel rider won't be competing this time around, but she is keen to come back and enter next year.
This year Caitlyn's happy to promote the event and the sport – and particularly to encourage young girls into what has traditionally been a male-dominated sport.
“I've been riding since I was eight years old and as soon as I saw my first rodeo I knew that some day I would compete along with the guys,” she said.
“There are a lot of great girls competing in the team open, which was originally a boy competition.
“There are a lot of girls like myself and my sister who are trying to make it professionally, like Wendy Caben and Cherie O'Donoghue-Kent.
“There's a lot more to it than just riding bulls, and this weekend in Lismore there'll be girls competing in the breakaway and the barrel events.”
Caitlyn will be flying overseas next month to represent Australia at Edm-onton in Canada and then at Las Vegas in the United States.