It's a fan-forced oven day in Mount Isa, the red dirt is baking and a slow clap is starting to echo in the rodeo arena.
Behind the chutes, a cowboy peers nervously out at the crowd from under his helmet, ready to defend his 2016 title.
The siren sounds, the animal leaps out of the gate and the spectators start to cheer.
The cowboy they're cheering for is Peter Gregory Jr. He hails from Doomadgee and has learnt the art of riding a bucking calf from his namesake father.
He's also 10.
The ride is a good one. Peter holds tight, even when the poddy calf bumps into the barrier, then jumps off without so much as a knee to the ground.
He raises his pink helmet to the crowd and drinks in the applause.
The score comes back. It's good, but not quite good enough to put Peter atop the podium. He has to settle for third.
"Come on mate, get over it," Peter Gregory Sr tells his son gently as the child holds his head in his hands.
It's not much use. The pint-sized cowboy is desolate.
"I jabbed him in his ribs, right up!"
They may be shorter than the chute, but the kids at the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo have high standards.
Peter has just made it to double-digits and he's already a favourite with the rodeo crowd, which is relishing Sunday's finals.
"He knows how to put on a show," Peter Snr admits.
The victor in the poddy ride, Cade Ferguson reckons he's done about 50 rides in his 10-year lifetime.
Cade likes to ride steers after work with his dad, Colin, who says it's about teaching the child how to ride the calf - not just hang on for dear life.
The Cloncurry locals try to get to at least 10 rodeos a year. It's a pastime Cade finds much more enticing than schoolwork.
"I don't mind (school) but when there's a rodeo coming up I just can't wait," he says, rubbing the dust from his face.
"I try to get out of school but mum and dad won't let me."
It's not hard to see why the sport has captured his and Peter's hearts.
From the back of a ute, the junior cowboys wave their akubras at the adoring crowd during their victory lap of the arena.
Homework can wait. They've got a rodeo to rule.