Lauren McKenzie has been crowned this year’s Warwick Rodeo Queen at a presentation evening at the Douglas Feez Pavilion, Warwick Showgrounds, on Saturday 13 October.

The 2012 inter-state polocrosse championships were what first brought Lauren McKenzie to Warwick and she was so impressed with the district, she returned shortly afterwards. Lauren represented Northern Territory, her home state, at the polocrosse championships and moved to Allora, only 28km north of Warwick to play for the Warwick Polocrosse Club.

Riding was natural for Lauren who grew up on her parent’s cattle property 50 kilometres south of Darwin and being in the saddle from dawn till dusk was nothing new. Weekend sport also revolved around horses for Lauren and her family and it was not all polocrosse. She was an avid showjumping and barrel racing competitor. Her dad was a well-respected pick-up man and Lauren went with him to all the local rodeos to compete while growing up and the local Noonamah Rodeo was a particular favourite being so close to home.

In 2013, Lauren took a year off competitions to travel and focus on working, other than working cattle that is, but it wasn’t long before she was back in the rodeo arena. In 2017 she began competing on the rodeo circuit in barrel racing and of course it didn’t hurt to be travelling with her fiancé, a rough stock hand who rode saddle and bareback broncs. She was soon fascinated by the bucking stock, the stock contractors and how they prepare their animals and all the people involved with those events.

As Warwick is her ‘home-town’ rodeo, Lauren became interested in the Warwick Rodeo Queen quest and started learning the ‘ropes’ of the glamour side of the business. Following her win at Warwick this year, Lauren intends to carry on the great tradition which has been an integral part of the Warwick Rodeo and Gold Cup Campdraft. “It’s an honour to be part of Australia’s most famous rodeo and to be in a position to inspire the next generation to become part of the two horse sports which have been a part of my life since I was a child,” she said. “Previous winners have been outstanding and my intention is to carry on in their footsteps, to promote Warwick Rodeo and the Gold Cup Campdraft both here and overseas.”

Readers also enjoyed this story about Miss Rodeo being crowned earlier this year.