Cooper Cannell, 20, came to the States from Shelford, Victoria, Australia sporting his 2018 Southern Cross Rodeo Circuit Rookie All-Around buckle.
“We’ve got a pro rodeo association over there and it’s a circuit buckle from our circuit, which is called the Southern Cross Circuit,” Cannell, who is working for Billie Jack Saebens and Dixon Flowers, said. “I broke open this year, so next year is my rookie year. I filled my permit this year, but that was my rookie all-around buckle from my home circuit.”
Cannell competed in three events, which included bull dogging, calf roping and team roping, on the heel side.
“I did probably the best heeling that year,” Cannell, said. “I did good at a few of our state rodeos, which helped me out. I made our National Finals heeling. There are only like 60 rodeos in the whole country. Over there, you only have to go to five rodeos to qualify for the finals.”
Cannell mounted out for most of the season besides riding his good horse, L.A., which he recently sold to help him make it to Oklahoma.
“I actually mounted out a lot,” Cannell said. “I don’t think I bull dogged that much last year. I mounted out a few heel horses. I was riding a pretty good old horse that we just sold before I came over here. He actually helped me get over here. I rode a pretty good old horse from this guy that I was roping with to heel on. I rode him at the last couple rodeos and he kind of helped me win the deal. I bought a calf horse, but I only started rodeoing on him this year. I just rode a couple of different calf horses last year.”
Since Cannell has filled his permit, he has set his sights on winning a buckle greater than his circuit rookie buckle.
“An Australian Champion buckle is what I want to go for in the next couple of years,” Cannell said. “If I stay home when I get through with these three months, my goal is to go for the National Rookie All-Around calf-roping and heeling, so I’ll have my hands full there. I’m going to try and take what I learned over here.”