World Champion James wows region's aspiring riders
RODEO royalty graced the Western Downs last week, with female riders from across the region learning new skills from one of the best.
American Charmayne James held a three-day barrel racing clinic at the Dalby Showgrounds last week, and used her decade of experience to help our up and coming racers.
The 11-time world champion coached riders of all ages and abilities and said it was a thrill to be in Australia hosting clinics.
She said coming to Australia to host riding clinics is something she has wanted to do for nearly 10 years.
Ms James said she was blessed to have been successful in her sport, and could travel overseas and teach aspiring riders.
"I think one thing people don't realise with barrel racing is there is a lot of fundamentals just like in golf or baseball or cricket," she said.
"There are a lot of... little tiny changes which can make huge difference.
"So I feel like I have a good eye for little things you need to tweak to make you a little faster."
Ms James, who won 10 consecutive world championships between 1984 and 1993, is the only female barrel racer to be inducted in the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.
Ms James said she enjoyed being able to meet riders from the other side of the world and help them improve their own ability.
Clinic organiser Kellie Ramsay said the feedback she received from attendees was overwhelming.
"We had some people travel more than 3000km to attend the clinic," she said.
"Everyone thought it was absolutely excellent, and it was above and beyond their expectations.
"The event could not have been so successful without the support of the local business and people who travelled."
Ms James was brought to Australia by Tamworth based company Equine Event and Tuition.
Managing director Brett Scott said his team were already trying to bring Ms James back for another clinic in the Western Downs.
No dates have been set but Mr Scott said he is hopeful the American rodeo star will return to the Western Downs towards the end of this year.
Mr Scott told the Dalby Herald he was in the process of bringing more professions from a wide range of rodeo events to hold clinics in town.