Finn rides to great new heights in Texas
RODEO: Finn Christensen has shone on the international rodeo stage in Gonzales, Texas.
The 13-year-old Bororen rider won a saddle as a trophy for winning the average of the Junior Bull Ride at the Youth Rodeo Association Finals.
Finn had to ride in two rounds of the Junior Bull Ride 14-and-Under category where he was placed in both with the highest points over both rounds which secured him the average title.
His mum Tammi said the result was a culmination of hard work and it seems the sky is indeed the limit.
"He started at the Great Western in Rockhampton and that's basically where he has learnt his craft,” Tammi said.
"We're pretty happy for him to be competing at that level and this is definitely his biggest achievement so far.”
International coordinator for the Australian Junior Rodeo Association Kylee Ferguson said Finn had to go through a stringent process.
"Finn had to compete at six qualifying rodeos and make an application to be a member of our team,” Ferguson said.
"Those applications were then assessed by a panel and invitations were given to successful applicants.”
Finn also competed at a bull ride at Bendera near San Antonio last Friday and came fourth.
He then did another rodeo two days later where he had to ride two head of stock for a trophy buckle.
Unfortunately for Finn, he lost this event to his travelling partner Leyton Marks from Clermont.
Finn's dad Chris Christensen said there will be a much-needed break before more competition.
"There will be a couple of days rest while he travels to Oklahoma to attend a bull riding school run by five-time world champion Chris Shivers,” Christensen said.
"He then will travel to Fortworth to compete in another rodeo before flying home.”
Ferguson said that there was also a local connection with another winner.
"Our other winner was Cade Ferguson who is the son of Colin Ferguson originally from Miriam Vale and is now in Cloncurry,” Ferguson said.
"He is the grandson of Ron and Shirley Ferguson from Miriam Vale and he also won the average for the Boy's Calf Ride.
"Both are the Australian Junior Rodeo Association's first to take home international awards so we are all very excited for them.”
Finn was also part of the Australian team which included fellow Queensland riders Clayton Carlson, Dustin Roots and Leyton.
The YRA is celebrated its 45th year and the rodeo year commenced last September and finishes at the end of this month.
During the 2016-17 rodeo year, contestant members competed in 12 rodeos held in various locations with prize-money totalling $150,000.