Kids from ‘Down Under’ ready to rodeo Texas-style

Cindy Hedeman, Charmie Sanders and Augie Nobile stand with their new Austrialian friends the Ben and Jackie Priestley family with kids Jack and Olivia, and Terry and Louisa Hutton with their son Thomas. (Photo by Barbara Green)

They may be 9,000 miles apart, but when it comes to kids and rodeo, it’s one big family.
Two Australian families spent the last week in Bowie receiving assistance with horses for their children to compete in a junior youth rodeo in South Texas.
A team of 22 youth from the Australia Junior Rodeo Association were invited to compete at a Texas Youth Rodeo Association final in Gonzales this week. The children are ages 10-12.
After being selected for the team, the riders had the choice to work with the group in obtaining horses for the event or they could out-source the horses.

Jackie Priestley is mom to 11-year-old Olivia, traveling with father, Ben, and brother Jack. Louisa Hutton is mom to Thomas, age 12, with his dad, Terry.
The Priestleys live at Black Hill and the Huttons in Maitland, both in New South Wales, just north of Sydney, Australia.
They decided to out-source horses, which led them to Montague County. Priestley explains she has an “Aussie” friend, Rodney Lidgard, who lives at Nocona, so she called him to see if he could help them out.
“I rang him up,” said Priestley, “and said we need to get some good horses. He put us on to Charmie Sanders and Cindy Hedeman, and they have been terrific.”

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Olivia Priestley Halliday runs the barrels. (Photo by Barbara Green)


Thomas Hutton learns goat-tying. (Photo by Barbara Green)