IN A love story which could be described as a match made in the rodeo arena, champion bronc rider Fred Osman and his family’s one time jillaroo employee, Canadian cowgirl Kyla Dolen, have married on the hallowed red dirt of Buchanan Park.

And barely an hour later, a fairytale finish came for Osman when he won the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo bareback bronc title, remarkably for the fifth time.

The surreal image Kyla Dolen, his bride, striding onto the arena in a wedding dress was a delightful surprise to the thousands of spectators who turned out to watch Sunday’s rodeo finals.

Little did they realise when they arrived they’d be witnessing one of the sport’s modern legends marry his sweetheart, as Osman’s cowboy colleagues formed a guard of honour in the centre of the arena.

Newlyweds Fred and Kyla Osman at the rodeo arena altar. IMAGE Pete Wallace

“It was actually Kyla’s idea to get married here,” Osman said told the Caller.

“Mount Isa has always been very special to me and we thought it would be something different. It was a lot of fun.”

The couple’s courtship, which began 12 years ago, came with a touch of irony.

Osman, a two-time Australian bareback bronc riding champion, was on a rodeo circuit in the United States while Dolen, who grew up on a cattle ranch in Northern Alberta, travelled to work as a jillaroo at Osman’s remote family property in Cameron’s Corner NSW.

The pair met after Osman came off a wild bronc in America, broke his arm and was forced to return home.

The problem for Dolen was, he was not a single man at the time.

“But I knew he was special,” she said.

“I liked him from the minute I met him but he was already taken by someone, so I decided to go home, pine away and wait for him,” Dolen said.

And wait, she did.

Nine years later, Osman was back on the market and stopped in to visit Dolen while he was travelling through Canada. Love blossomed, and the rest is history.

“If the last three years are any indication, then the rest of our lives together will be great,” Dolen said.

“Today made the long game worth it!”

A makeshift ‘chapel’ set up on the hallowed red dirt of Buchanan Park. IMAGE: Pete Wallace’
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