Koby Read is bound for Tamworth and the ABCRA national finals this weekend.
Koby has just turned 16 an has qualified in the top 15 for the 14 and under 18s years steer ride, to take place at the state-of-the-art Australian Equine & Livestock Events Centre.
The final is something the Forbes rider is looking forward to immensely. He's twice qualified for the event in the Under 11s, but COVID disrupted his pathway and this will be his first national campaign in this age group.
"They do have a pretty big crowd ... it pumps you up, once you get off your steer and you rode your steer you feel awesome," Koby said in the lead up.
Koby has been riding since he was little, following his dad Troy and extended family into the sport, and competed his first full season aged nine.
There's no looking back now: he loves it.
"Definitely the best thing about it is getting around to the rodeo behind the chutes hanging out with your mates," Koby said.
"Especially when you're winning an event and your buddy makes a good ride ... even if you're having a bad day and your mate's just had a really good ride, it makes your day, you feel happy for them."
The cowboy camaraderie is pretty awesome, says Troy, who retired from competition seven years ago but still enjoys the circuit.
"I still get to meet up with a lot of the blokes I used to ride with an am still good friends with," he said.
"Now a lot of their kids are riding, you hear the announcements say second generation, third generation."
Koby's 2023 season began with two wins, and he maintained his spot in the top 15 despite a six-week injury-enforced break early on.
"Those two wins at the start of the year really put me where I am now," he said.
Koby also claimed the buckle in this event at Forbes, but it's not a qualifier for this ABCRA event.
Fitting in as much competition as they can, with events available every weekend from now to Easter, Koby's also been practising at home.
"We've got drums and all the mechanical type of apparatus for him to practice on but I've got an arena here," Troy said.
"The best training is getting on animals, which I've been doing a lot, just practising in the arena here at home is the best training," Koby added.
The next step for this young cowboy - who's hit 6'2" in height this year - is to start riding the junior bulls.
"He's finding the step up from that is a lot different: they're a lot more muscly, they move a lot quicker," Tory said.