By GERARD WALSH
THE oldest rodeo competitor in Australia, perhaps the world, will be competing in the Mt Isa Mines Rodeo on August 12-15.
Bob Holder comes from Cootamundra in New South Wales and has been a competition cowboy for 76 years.
While he now only competes in team roping, he was a rough stock rider who won a saddle bronc round in the national finals at Myrtleford in Victoria in 1959.
He also had a saddle bronc first and second in the national finals at Winton in Queensland in 1956. He has also competed in North America.
Holder will compete in the over 55s team roping at Mount Isa this weekend, the richest rodeo in the Australian Professional Rodeo Association circuit.
He will combine with Charters Towers cowboy Mark Gibb.
This year Holder has competed at Charters Towers, Richmond and Cloncurry on the Northern Run and caught the head of his beast at Cloncurry, but his heeler didn’t get a catch.
This week, he will combine with Brad Pierce in the open team roping at Mount Isa.
Pierce has won rookie rough stock world titles in America and will be one of the favourites in the saddle bronc ride at Mt Isa.
Holder will have plenty of competition at Mount Isa – there are 14 nominations in the over 55s team roping and 117 in open team roping.