Local riders aim for national success at the ABCRA National Australian Championships

Forbes riders Jake Tomlinson, Alex Hanley and Molly Fuge are gearing up to compete in the 2019 ABCRA National Australian Championships at the end of January. The championships take place on January 24 and January 25 at Tamworth.

Molly Fuge, Alex Hanley and Jake Tomlinson have all qualified to compete in the National Ranch Sorting Nationals, while Jake has also qualified in the Junior Rodeo Nationals.

Jake has qualified for the steer riding event in the under 8 to 11 age category and in the ranch sorting competition in the ranch hand category.

The young rider, who's only been competing in rodeos for two years, qualified for the steer riding event by placing third in the southern zone and qualified ninth in the ranch sorting.

Jake said he practices his skills by riding his horse every day, along with practising with a mechanical cow and sorting normal cows.

This is the second year that Molly Fuge has competed in ranch sorting and also the second time she has qualified for the National Championships.

Last year, she competed in the #4 Handicap class, and came away with second place out of 113 runs.

This year she's taking a new horse to the titles and is hoping they compete well.

She will be competing in the rookie class at the Championships after placing ninth in the ladder.

In ranch sorting, riders work in pairs to enter an 18 metre round yard and draft numbered cattle out a gate in numerical order.

"You can be in there for the full 60 seconds or you can be there for five seconds. That's the challenge of ranch sorting," Ms Fuge said.

Alex Hanley began riding horses halfway through 2018 before joining taking part in ranch sorting in 2019.

Ms Hanley said it was initially challenging as she had to train her horse to work with cattle as well as learn the ropes herself.

Practise with a mechanical bull and her family's cattle helped Ms Hanley and her horse improve their skills in ranch sorting.

Ms Hanley will be competing in the Beginners class of the Championships and is currently sitting on top of the leaderboard, 15 points ahead of the other competitors.