USA BOUND: Nick Giles practices his roping before departing for the US yesterday.
USA BOUND: Nick Giles practices his roping before departing for the US yesterday. David Nielsen

Giles says farewell to Australia for roping and goat tying

NICK Giles flew out of Australia for the trip of a life-time yesterday and he doesn't want to return.

The 15-year-old is off to compete in a National Student Rodeo Association event in the USA.

He will contest the breakaway roping and goat tying competitions.

To compete in the US is his long-term ambition, so his mum Kathi may have some work to do to ensure he's on the plane home.

First however, she has to get him there. They fly to Dallas, then have to drive 800km to Missouri to check out the horse Giles will use to compete in breakaway roping and goat tying. Then it is another 500km plus to Des Moines, Iowa, where the competition takes place.

Giles' brother, Jimmy Swales, made a similar trip 12 years ago.

It was his introduction to rodeo that got the family involved and led to Giles' obsession.

Giles sister Sheridan, 14 competes as well.

"They love it. They've made so many friends from it," Kathi said.

Giles also rides bulls but finished seventh in the National High School Rodeo finals at Tamworth in March.

He was third in the breakaway roping to earn his trip to the US.

When he can't get to his friend's country property at Coominya Giles practices his roping on a bale of hay in his One Mile backyard.

"It's a different sport to footy," he said. "A bull sways side to side and has a mind of its own."

Giles has no expectations about the level of success he will have there. But competing in rodeos on US is what he wants to do more than anything.

"I'm not coming back," he told the QT and it was hard to tell if he was joking or not.

 



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