NICHOLE Fitzpatrick will be out to extend her lead at the top of the ABCRA All Round Cowgirl standings at this Sunday's Bungendore Rodeo.
Bungendore-born Fitzpatrick is the defending ABCRA all round champion and looks on track to defend her crown with only five point-scoring rodeos remaining this season.
The all round cowgirl event sees competitors scored across three separate disciplines: barrel racing, steer undecorating and breakaway roping.
As well as her lead in the overall standings, Fitzpatrick is currently the number one ranked rider in steer undecorating and breakaway roping, and the second ranked barrel racer.
The 28-year-old's success this season has come as something of a surprise, even to Fitzpatrick herself.
After taking out last year's cowgirl title, Fitzpatrick decided to rest her championship winning mount Kohl and instead focus on teaching a few of her younger horses the ropes.
"I'd been riding Kohl pretty hard for a while and wanted to give him a bit of a break so I wasn't planning on going for any titles this year," Fitzpatrick said.
"I just wanted to try and bring some of my young horses through but it's actually worked out quite well."
Along with her husband Scott, Fitzpatrick breeds and trains all her competition horses at the couple's Willow Tree property north of Scone.
For Fitzpatrick, it's merely the continuation of a lifetime spent around horses and the rodeo game.
The former Queanbeyan High student first competed at the Bungendore Rodeo as a teenager more than a decade ago and has since crafted a reputation as one of the finest female riders in Australia.