BEING caught stealing lollies from a Mitchell shop as a teenager has led one man to dedicate his life to rodeo.

Angus Mitchell was ordered to pay for his crime by working in the shop he stole from, but the shopkeeper eventually befriended him and introduced him to the world of rodeo.

He was taught to ride horses after school and for more than 20 years he has been paying it forward, teaching tips and tricks

"I just had good people looking after me; it was a big family looking after me. I won my first three bronc rides and my first bareback ride (as a teenager)," he said.

"It was really good because that was all I ever wanted to do, just ride horses and I'm still doing it."

Angus has been competing since 1982, teaching rodeo since the 1990s and now teaches boxing at the Maranoa PCYC.

He said the hardest aspect of getting involved with the sport was kids building up the courage to ask for help.

"One of the biggest lessons is always be open minded because you learn something every day," he said.

"Be nice to the people going up because you're going to pass them when you come back down."

The executive board member of the Queensland Rodeo Association said the sport was only continuing to grow.

His latest protégé is emerging rodeo queen Izzy Schubert and he trained current national champion Billy Blacker.

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