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Emily Howkins @ The Coalface

Emily Howkins, a Central Queensland Ranch Bronc Rider is heading to the US to compete in the WRBC World Finals held on July 20-21 at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.

Known for her resilience and determination, Emily has carved out a significant presence in the rodeo world. Taking two months off work dedicated to training, she is ready to showcase her skills on the world stage.

“I’m excited to see what finals will bring, I’ve heard they are bringing the heat with the broncs this year so I will need to keep on my game.”

Emily’s introduction to bronc riding was unconventional. Originally an apprentice jockey, she said she found her way to the sport after repeated encounters with a challenging racehorse.

“That horse was the start of my journey to becoming a Bronc Rider!”

However, as a female rider in a predominantly male sport, Emily faced the challenge of being taken seriously.

“The only way to overcome this is to put your head down and ride your broncs, stay persistent, prove that you really want to be there.”

Regular practice days help refine her skills and trusted mentors provide valuable feedback, ensuring continuous improvement but balancing her career with rodeo commitments has been challenging and Emily often spends long weekends driving to and from rodeos.

“There have been some tiresome weekends spent driving to get there and back in time for work Monday morning. It’s also a push to get some training done after a long shift at work and doesn’t leave much time for recovery.

“Once I get back from the Finals, hopefully I can step into a 7:7 position. But ultimately having a mining job in a contracting role at Vulcan Mine has really helped with being able to afford a rodeo career and for that I am very grateful.”

Emily also co-directs the Women’s Ranch Bronc Championships group in Australia.

Emily Howkins @ The Coalface

“We want to provide more pathways for women who want to ride bucking horses. We host schools to develop the correct fundamentals and organise events with suitable stock. I give guidance to anyone who approaches me and believe that the key to safety in rodeo is informed and educated.”

Coming from a racing background, Emily had an edge in bronc riding, already accustomed to riding unfamiliar horses. She competes in both women’s and men’s events to gain more experience and exposure and her latest achievements are: 2023 WRBC Ranch Bronc World Finalist, 2024 WRBC Ranch Bronc Australian Champion and she also won the All-round Cowgirl award at Australia’s first all-women’s rodeo in Normanton last year.

Emily values the mental and physical toughness required in rodeo, a trait she believes Australians are particularly adept at due to their “have a go, go hard” mentality. Bronc riding is a passion and a community for Emily, providing her with a sense of purpose and belonging.

Rodeo has shaped her into a stronger, more confident person, opening doors to opportunities she never imagined, and she has ambitious goals for the future, aiming for a strong performance on the world stage this year. She also plans to compete more in the saddle bronc on home soil and introduce ranch bronc to New Zealand.

In Australia, the WRBC has grown from one jackpot a year to having 11 rodeos and four schools for the season with roughly 30 members signed up, but Emily wants that growth to continue.

“If you think that if you think this is something you really want to do, go for it and don’t hold back. Reach out to someone you see having a crack and ask for advice on how to get involved.” 

Follow Emily’s journey on Instagram: @girlonabronc Find out more about WRBC at: www.womensranchbroncchamps.com Support Emily and Team Aus at: makeachamp.com/girlonabronc

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