Sixteen-year-old Hunta Gallagher has pushed through the ranks of the top riders in the country to gain the title of 2018 Australian Champion Rookie Breakaway Roper at the National ABCRA Finals in January this year. Culminating on the Australia Day weekend, the week-long competition is the grand finale of the rodeo year, and the best of the best gather in Tamworth, NSW to battle it out for the coveted buckles.
It’s the second Australian title for the talented teenager who was crowned 2016 Australian Junior All-Round Cowgirl in 2016, aged just fourteen – the first Western Australian junior to win the title.
Hunta, who lives in Bullsbrook with mum Jodie and brother Trey, has dedicated her life to achieving her results in the ring – with absolute success. This year she’s ridden up against the adults, even though she is still young enough to compete as a junior, qualifying to compete in the open section against some very talented and more experienced riders. “It’s harder, but great competition,” she says. Placing 7th in the Barrels and 9th in Breakaway (out of the top 15 riders to qualify) she admitted it was a “pretty good result”.
Behind every successful young rider at this level is a dedicated mum, and Jodie is no exception. “Thanks to an awesome mum for driving all over WA to compete,” Hunta said.
With her usual mount out of action due to injury, Hunta borrowed her brother’s rope horse Diablo for the Nationals. The 18-year-old gelding certainly rose to the occasion producing some amazing runs. Hunta hopes her mare Iggy will be back in action for the coming season.
Hunta would like to thank her sponsors for all their support and for making is possible for her to get to the Nationals: Hidez, Double Barrel Entertainment, Rhinestone Rodeo, Rustic Cowgirl Creations, Prickly Pear Cowgirl Creations, and Rebecca’s Homemade Goods.
Ten of our Western Australian juniors qualified to compete at Nationals this year, placing them in the top 15 competitors in the country in their respective classes. It’s an amazing achievement to qualify and all the riders who represented WA this year deserve our congratulations.
Amongst them Courtney Reinke from Jurien Bay, who is an amazing competitor – and Australia’s only female steer rider and Jack Collins from Bullsbrook, who took out the impressive champion Australian Rookie Saddle Bronc title for the year. Well done!