Champion bronc rider gets caught in the rodeo arena

RODEO COVER SPONSORED BY BOB KATTER

By HARRY CLARKE

IN A love affair that could best be described as a match made in the rodeo arena, champion bronc rider Fred Osman and his family’s former jillaroo employee, Canadian cowgirl Kyla Dolen, have married on the hallowed red earth of Buchanan Park.

And just an hour later, a fairy tale finish came for Osman when he won the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo bareback bronc title, remarkably for the fifth time.

The surreal image of his wife Kyla Dolen walking across the arena in a wedding dress came as a delightful surprise to the thousands of spectators who turned out to watch Sunday’s rodeo finals.

Little did they arrive when they arrived, they were about to watch one of the sport’s modern legends marry his beloved, as Osman’s fellow cowboys formed a guard of honor in the center of the arena.

Newlyweds Fred and Kyla Osman at the altar in the rodeo arena. IMAGE Pete Wallace

“It was actually Kyla’s idea to get married here,” Osman told the Caller.

“Mount Isa has always been very special to me and we thought it would be something different. It was a lot of fun.”

The couple’s courtship, which began 12 years ago, came with a touch of irony.

Osman, a two-time Australian bareback bronc riding champion, was on a rodeo circuit in the United States while Dolen, who grew up on a cattle ranch in northern Alberta, traveled to work as a jillaroo in the Osman’s remote homestead in Cameron’s Corner NSW.

The couple met after Osman got out of a rough patch in America, broke his arm and was forced to return home.

The problem for Dolen was that he was not a single man at the time.

“But I knew he was special,” she said.

“I loved it from the minute I met it, but it was already taken by someone, so I decided to go home, pin and wait for it,” Dolen said.

And wait, she did.

Nine years later, Osman was back in the market and stopped to visit Dolen while traveling across Canada. Love blossomed, and the rest is history.

“If the last three years are any indication, then the rest of our lives together will be great,” Dolen said.

“Today the long game was worth it!”

A makeshift “chapel” set on the hallowed red earth of Buchanan Park. PHOTO: Pete Wallace’

Earnest L. Veasey