ROCKHAMPTON rider Jamie-Lee Williams has the chance during the Northern Run of four Queensland rodeos to challenge Jorja Watkins and Cheyenne Whitwell for bragging rights as the top Queensland cowgirl in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association.
After leading early in all around cowgirl standings last season, Watkins, of Alton Downs, finished sixth overall in the pro tour behind winner Nichole Fitzpatrick, of Willow Tree, NSW.
Mt Tarampa (Lockyer Valley) cowgirl Cheyenne Whitwell was seventh last season.
Already this season, Williams has competed in three Queensland Rodeos and won the barrel race at Bundaberg in a time of 16.196 seconds and finished sixth at Nebo.
She enjoyed outstanding success at the Bowen River Rodeo at Collinsville on the Queen's Birthday weekend winning the barrel race and finished fourth in breakaway roping.
Last season, she qualified 13th for the National Finals Rodeo in the barrel race and competed in the finals at Caboolture.
Watkins won the pro tour title for most money won last season in breakaway roping and continued her good form this season with a win at Bowen River in the same event.
Ebenezer rider Tamara Knox was the fourth Queenslander last season to finish in the top 15 on the pro tour and has started the new season well with a win in breakaway roping at Nebo.
Emerald cowgirl Leanne Kenny has often been in the top 15 in the standings and is already in the leading group of barrel racers this season.
She has a second in the barrel race at Bundaberg, third at Bowen River at Collinsville and fourth at Nebo to be the most consistent early in the season. PJ Hanrahan, of Gogango, in North Queensland, has started the season with a third and fourth in the barrel race.
The first of the four Queensland Rodeos on the Northern Run will be on July 19 at Taroom when all eight APRA championship events will be contested.
Bowen River winners
Saddle bronc John Turvey 77 points
Bull ride Jackson Gill 83
Bareback Jamie Howlett 81
Rope and tie Shane Iker 9.35 seconds
Steer wrestling Mark Gibb 4.6
Team roping Jordan Austin-Iker and Brenton Bell 5.4
Barrel race Jamie-Lee Williams 17.395
Breakaway roping Jorja Watkins 2.7
Rodeo Program: July 19 Taroom; July 26 Richmond; August 1-2 Cloncurry; August 8-10 Mt Isa; August 15 Daly Waters (NT), August 16 Katherine (NT); August 23 Darwin (NT).