LEGENDARY cowboy Shane Kenny has applauded the decision to delay the Wagga Pro Rodeo until this Saturday after stifling heat forced it to be postponed a fortnight ago.
Central Queenslander Kenny, who boasts easily the most Australian Professional Rodeo Association records with 15, will compete in steer roping and rope and tie over the weekend.
The events has enjoyed an increase in competitors from recent years with cowboys desperate for competition after many rodeos were cancelled due to bushfires and drought.
"It was very hot a fortnight ago and it wouldn't have been very comfortable for the animals or cowboys, and probably most importantly the spectators," Kenny said.
"I couldn't blame them for not wanting to come out the way the weather was, and now everyone's had some rain everyone will be in a happier state of mind."
Kenny joked he's retired from bull riding as "the body's wearing out a little bit", but tipped local bull breeder John Gill's beasts, led by High Flying Akubra to present a daunting task.
"The bulls are that good at the moment, you almost need a bull to have an off day," he said.
"There's some younger guys that are really getting after it at the moment. It's the luck of the draw half the time, some of these bulls are almost unrideable."
Kenny still holds the APRA's rope and tie record of 7.20 seconds, which he set at Rockhampton 20 years ago.
Gill said about 40 open and novice bull riders had been confirmed for the event.
"The number had been down a little bit in previous years but because of the postponement of other rodeos because of the bushfires and so forth, the cowboys are chasing any event they can get for points," he said.
"Who's who in the zoo will be here in Wagga."
Competitors will compete for a share of $25,000 in prizemoney.
The Wagga Pro Rodeo gets underway on Saturday from 4pm at Equex Centre, with proceeds from the gate to be donated to Kurrajong Waratah, Country Hope and the Rural Fire Service.