BARREL racer Laura Bostock has opened her rodeo season in the best possible way, with back-to-back wins.
The 33-year-old from Mutdapilly, near Ipswich, proved the best rider at the Goomeri Rodeo on New Year's Eve in the open category.
She backed this up with another open class win at the Goombungee Rodeo two days later.
"I think it all went smoothly," Bostock said.
But Bostock put her success down to the ability of her horse Lethal Force more than her own skill in the saddle.
"With Lethal Force, I've only been barrel racing on him for three years," she said.
"He was runner-up two years in a row but last year he was the winner."
Lethal Force is in his fourth year of competing in barrel races.
Bostock said she hoped he would continue his winning form over the National Rodeo Association season.
"I'll just keep competing on Lethal but I will hopefully be getting another one soon," she said.
With the Goomeri Rodeo the last of 2015 and the opener of the 2016 season, Bostock said there was no better place to start the rodeo season.
"It's New Year's Eve, it's a good place to have a New Year's Eve rodeo," she said.
Bostock said choosing the best possible horse was a large factor in barrel racing success.
"You've got to have the right horse underneath you."
She said picking a good horse was based on good impressions, much like meeting a person for the first time.
"They've got to be a nice type of horse," she said.
"But you've got to click with them too.
"They've got to be willing to please you and do what you tell them to do."
Bostock broke into the barrel racing scene 10 years ago after she was introduced to the sport by her partner.
"My partner Ian Bostock helps run rodeos," she said.
"It wasn't until I moved up to Ipswich (from the Gold Coast) and I got with Ian that I started in barrel racing."
But Bostock grew up with horses so was familiar with their behaviour before she started in barrel racing.
"I got my first horse when I was nine years old," she said.
She also competes in campdrafts and team penning outside of barrel racing to keep her riding skills up to scratch.
With a competition on nearly every weekend over the year, Bostock said she would travel from north of Rockhampton down to New South Wales to compete.
Bostock's next barrel race will be held at Cabarita in New South Wales.
Cavanagh misses out by seconds
BENAIR'S Brad Cavanagh came off second best in the steer wrestling in a competition that came down to milliseconds.
He could not beat his performance two years ago, where he swept the competition to take first place.
The fast paced competition pits competitors against the clock to jump from their horse and wrestle a steer to the ground.
"I was 5.8 seconds," Cavanagh said.
"Five seconds is probably an average time, the quickest I've had is 3.5."
At 38 years of age, he regularly competes against riders almost half his age.
"There are a lot around 20 to 25, and they probably win the most," he said.
"That's just the way it is."
He has competed in steer wrestling events for about 20 years, and followed in the footsteps of his dad who also took part in the events.
Cavanagh still competes in 10 to 15 events a year, but has slowed down from his younger days.
"I'm not right into it like a used to be," he said.
"I would do about 30 to 40 (a year)."
A good time came down to skill, but luck factored into the score when every moment was vital, he said.
"There can be a massive difference in the steers; some are fast and some are slow."
Although the second placing was a good result, Cavanagh topped his result just two days later, winning the steer wrestling at the Goombungee Rodeo.