It’s a massive achievement to secure the national Pick Up Team of the Year title for the fifth year in a row, and that is exactly what Mitchells Flat local, Robbie George and his pick up partner Ross Turnbull have done.
The pair was titled the champions for the fifth consecutive year at the Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association’s (ABCRA) national titles held in Tamworth in January.
Their win is based on the voting of the top 15 Australian bronc and bareback riders. The riders vote for the best national pick up team and considering the skilled duo only attend NSW events, it’s an impressive achievement to say the least.
Robbie and Ross have been working together for almost ten years, having met at various rodeos before getting into picking up together.
For those unaware, pick up riders are responsible for getting competitors safely off their horse and out of the ring – a job not for the fainthearted. The possibility of getting injured is just a part of the gig.
Despite the dangers, as well as the many accolades he has received, Robbie says the reason he continues to be a pick up rider is simple – he just loves being a part of the rodeo.
Robbie was once a bareback rider himself and turned to picking up when he decided to stop competing.
And while he says it takes a lot of skill, the humble horseman credits much of his success to his wife for her efforts in working the horses and his family for their constant support.
In fact, Robbie’s grandkids are just as passionate about rodeos as he is and he hopes that perhaps one day they will follow in his footsteps.
Robbie also offers thanks to sponsor, Bailey Property and Livestock, for their constant and appreciated support.
Now that they have secured their fifth title, Robbie and Ross won’t be slowing down. Although the pair doesn’t necessarily strive to win the award, Robbie says it’s an absolute honour and an added bonus to be recognised for doing what they love.
The duo will continue working as pick up riders throughout 2017 and hope that they can secure the title again next year.