An international rodeo star surprised locals in Cloncurry this week, taking part in the Cloncurry Christmas Rodeo and teaching a development school over the weekend (December 15-16).
Travelling from Alvin, Texas, John Michael Elliott, is known for his rich rodeo history and current title of 2017 Rookie Tie Down Champion in the Cowboy Professional and United Professional Cowboy rodeo associations.
The 17-year-old travelled to Cloncurry to teach up-and-coming rodeo stars the developmental skills of timed events.
“Local competitors learnt the basics of Breakaway Roping, Team Roping and Rope and Tie events,” John said.
“We started off with some ground work, then progressing to horses and a practice tow dummy.
“It was a great day, with all participants progressing throughout the clinic.”
John brought a wealth of knowledge and experience having competed in rodeos since he was four-year-old. Being home schooled, he and his siblings picked up rodeo as their family sport.
He started with mutton busting, lead-line, and speed events before progressing to all calf roping and team roping events.
Over the last 13 years of competition, he has won multiple all-around titles in multiple associations across three age groups, as well as champion saddles and buckles in every event in every age group.
He has qualified for Texas Junior High and High School Rodeo Associations’ state finals multiple years and won his first all-around trailer at the Youth Rodeo Association finals this summer.
John has appeared in the Cowboy Sports News magazine and Instagram feed, and granted media interviews for Florodeo in Brenham, KIDY TV in San Angelo, KABW-FM 95.1 in Abilene.
While John has appeared in the media light he prefers the behind the scenes action, pushing calves or assisting in the box.
He also enjoys working with and encouraging younger cowboys and cowgirls at the youth rodeos and special kids rodeos.
When John is not at a rodeo, he is doing schoolwork, taking care of chores on the farm, working cattle, preparing himself and his horses for competition, and giving roping and tying lessons.
He is also involved in the youth group activities at church and volunteers with the younger age groups.