HUGHENDEN – born Cliff McIntyre rolled into Cloncurry in 1967 as a rodeo cowboy, married Bonnie Jenkins, and he’s stayed there ever since (more or less).
He has seen his children successfully competing in rodeos all around Australia and in the US and still has a passion for getting kids involved in this tough sport.
In fact, 38 years ago he established the Cloncurry Western Club and is still involved.
He’d been riding with rodeos since he was 15 years old and he still competes in rope events such as calf roping and team roping.
Cliff went professional from the late 60s to early 70s and travelled around with his truck and horses from rodeo to rodeo until family commitments tied him down a bit.
“We travelled all around Australia and did a bit of a stint in the States; it was possible to support yourself as a professional in those days,” he says.
The McIntyres’ three children, Kylee, Dean and Carina became keen rodeo riders.
“When Kylee was aged 13 to 16, in the early 80s, we took the kids with us on the road and travelled all around the country, chasing titles for Kylee,” Cliff says.
She won the Australian Junior Barrel-racing championship four times, the Australian Junior All Round championship three times and was the youngest ever to compete at the National Finals in 1983 at the age of 13.
Kylee was crowned Miss Rodeo Australia in 1993.
Now Kylee Ferguson, she owns the travel agency in Cloncurry and she and husband Colin run the Rodeo Saddle Shop.
Cliff’s son, Dean McIntyre, 34, has lived in the USA for 17 years.
He went to the USA 17 years ago as a teenager, and his parents put him through two years of college at North West College, Powell, Wyoming.
“The first year he was there he made the college rodeo team, and won the right to compete in the steer wrestling.
“He won the All Round cowboy at the Cody Night Rodeos,” the proud father says.
Now based in Arizona, Dean has his own business, McIntyres’ Barns and Fencing.
He is a steer racer, and competes in steer wrestling for the Turquoise circuit taking in Arizona and New Mexico.
“He’s travelled right through the USA, but now that he’s a dad he’s concentrating on his area, Wickenberg Arizona,” Cliff says.
Now that he’s seen his kids through the rodeo circuit, Cliff has a passion for involving other kids.
Settled on his little farm on the edge of town, he is keen on getting juniors started.
“It’s time to get the Cloncurry Western Club kick-started for this year.
“I’m still very involved in getting juniors going in the sport of rodeo.
“It’s just a matter of getting them started, getting them keen.”
He’s got 60 head of Texas longhorn cattle that he breeds especially for rodeo events.
“They’re pretty unusual in this country.”
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