Monaghan rides towards Queanbeyan's queen of rodeo

Local rodeo personality Simone Monaghan with her horse Charlie at her Bywong property. Photo: Joshua Matic.

Local rodeo personality Simone Monaghan with her horse Charlie at her Bywong property. Photo: Joshua Matic.

THE glitz and glamour side of Queanbeyan rodeo sport will be on show on the Gold Coast in September, with local female rider Simone Monaghan all set to compete for Australia's Rodeo Queen title.

And while the annual contest does feature a modelling element, contestants are also judged on their intellect, with a minimum of $5000 needed to be raised prior to the event which goes towards selected charities and back into the rodeo industry.

Besides looking what Monagahan described as "photogenic" at the event, contestants will also need to be well mannered, engage well with the public, conduct themselves intelligently during media interviews, and show good horsemanship.

The horsemanship part has the ladies riding on horse back, where they ride a 'reining pattern', and their riding ability through these courses will also be judged.

Monaghan grew up in Dubbo, NSW, and has spent her entire life riding in horse eventing and show jumping, but has only been riding in rodeo's in the last two years.

The mother of two entered the Rodeo Queen contest in 2012, but withdrew to look after her son, who has autism.

But after wanting to enter since she was 18, and with her son's condition more settled, she said she wanted to give it a go before it's too late.

"I've been watching rodeo's now for about 17 years...I've always loved rodeos," she said.

"Now at my age [34, the cut-off age for the contest], I thought I'd jump straight in the deep end and give it a go."

Monaghan lives in Canberra, but has been on the annual Queanbeyan Rodeo committee for the last two years, and rides with the Bungendore Barrel-Racing Club regularly.

She owns seven horses, of which five are currently kept at her Bywong property, and rides her horse 'Lillie' in competition, but for the Rodeo Queen she will ride a provided horse.

While it is not seen as customary at the event, Monaghan said she will be wearing a helmet when riding to rid the mentality they should not be used in the contest.

"I'm being a bit different this year. Because I've grown up riding English equestrian sports, I'm very passionate about wearing helmets, and helmet safety," she said.

"It'll be interesting. It's an impressive looking helmet to wear during judging week."

The event runs from September 8 to 13.

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