By Casey O'Connor
Stanthorpe’s Billy Gallaway had his final hit out in Australia competing in 2023 National Rodeo Association finals at Stanthorpe at the weekend.
The skies were heavy, and rain threatened to derail round two of the finals but the Rodeo ground handled the rain well and no one seemed to mind the odd shower and the cool temperatures as a big crowd rolled in during the afternoon and early evening.
In the end the numbers were excellent despite the uncertain weather and the competition spectacular.
Nothing was going to dampen the experience for the two young riders flying the flag for Stanthorpe and Warwick. Billy Gallaway and Jake Blewitt.
Speaking with Blewitt on Tuesday he was upbeat despite being bucked off in the Under 15 Junior Bull ride.
“I am still sitting in seventh position in the standings,” he said.
“There is the Caboolture Rodeo this weekend so I am hoping I can improve.”
Blewitt said the cool conditions did make the bulls buck more but it was good fun.
This was not the biggest crowd he has ridden in front of he said but was larger than the crowd in Gympie.
It is testament to the popularity of the sport in this region.
While Blewitt did not have much luck in the Bull ride Billy Gallaway drew a bull that has had his measure at there three last meetings. On Saturday night it was Gallaway’s turn to get the upper hand. He completed the round with a score of 65 points and is sitting in third place in the standings.
It was a night of mixed fortunes for Gallaway who failed to score in the Under 18 breakaway competition but is still in a good position to finish either winner or runner up and is hoping for better luck this weekend.
It will be a whirlwind of activity for Gallaway and his family as they make a quick dash to Caboolture for the NRA final round and the Caboolture Rodeo. Sunday will be a quick trip home, final preparations and an early start Monday morning as he and his father, Brett head off to the international airport in Brisbane en route to LA. Gallaway will take his place in the Australian team riding in the Junior World Bull Riding championships.
Gallaway has only a couple of days to get over the trip before his first competition on Thursday. He rides again on Saturday and is hoping to make it through to the finals which will be held on Monday.
Not one to let the grass grow under his feet he already has his 2024 itinerary penciled in and given to his well-travelled family.
His Mother Kim says the family are extremely grateful for the support Gallaway said has received from the community.