by Pam McKay
RODEO: 'Perfect practice makes perfect' is the adage to which Shane and Jorja Iker subscribe.
It has delivered the Alton Downs couple plenty of success in rodeo arenas across the country - and it made for more at the weekend.
The Ikers were in the winner's circle again when the CRCA grand finals were staged at the Robert Schwarten Indoor Arena at the Rockhampton Showgrounds on Saturday.
Jorja won the ladies breakaway title and average and the team roping header title to claim her maiden all-round title.
And making it even more special was that Shane won the men's equivalent after taking out the rope and tie title and average and finishing equal first with Brett Cross in the steer wrestling.
"It's the first time I've won an all-round title which is really exciting and to win it with my husband is even better,” Jorja said.
Shane and Jorja and son Jordan are now preparing for the Australian Professional Rodeo Association's national finals in Warwick from October 26 to 29.
Shane is the reigning national all-round champion and is gunning for that coveted title once again.
Success in Warwick would be the perfect birthday present for the champion cowboy, who turns 40 the day before competition starts.
Jorja will be in the hunt for the breakaway title while Jordan will compete in the rope and tie and steer wrestling.
The top 15 competitors in the country qualify for the national finals of each event and Jorja finished third in the breakaway.
Jorja is hoping she can maintain her good form in the big arena at Warwick.
"It would be good to catch all my calves and even better to win the title,” she said.
"Winning the all-round in the CRCA was great but definitely making the pro finals, being up there with the best in the country, is a big thing for me.”
Jorja, 32, competed in her first rodeo in 2004 and immediately fell in love with it.
Jorja and Shane remain dedicated to the sport and are regularly on the road, chasing rodeos around the country.
"There's always a rodeo on and we travel a fair bit,” she said.
"I think we've had three or four weekends off for the whole year.
"We have an undercover arena on our property so we can ride rain, hail or shine.
"We've always maintained that perfect practice makes perfect and we practise probably four days a week.”