Courtesy PRCA – John Quintana, the 1972 world champion bull rider and a six-time qualifier for the National Finals Rodeo, died March 25 in a plane crash near Roma in western Queensland, Australia. He was 65.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the crash occurred shortly after take-off from Roma Airport, destroying the aircraft and killing Quintana and noted livestock agent Charlie Maher, 48, instantly.
Four investigators from the ATSB were dispatched to the crash site at Hartley Lane in Orange Hill to begin their investigation.
The team is expected to remain at the scene, about 1.3 miles north of the Roma airport, for four days. Crash debris was scattered over 500 yards in an open field.
Quintana’s plane, confirmed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to be a Cessna 210, crashed about 5:30 a.m. The men were en route to Cloncurry and they then planned to fly to the Northern Territory to conduct cattle business.
Quintana immigrated to Australia in the late 1980s and became a prominent figure in the beef industry and rural property sales. He started exporting live cattle to Southeast Asia in 1991 from his Waterloo station in the northwest.
He purchased Killarney station in 2001 for $21 million and since selling it in 2007, Quintana had operated from a property in Toowoomba, in southern Queensland, just 79 miles west of the capital city of Brisbane.
“Both those blokes were really well respected within the industry,” Ray White Livestock official Bruce Smith told The Australian newspaper, “and to lose them both in the one accident is a huge tragedy.”
Quintana twice set world records for the highest-scored bull rides, a 94-point mark on Minick Rodeo Company’s V-61 in Gladewater, Texas, in 1971 and then a 96- pointer on Beutler Brothers & Cervi Rodeo’s Number 17 at the Helldorado Days Rodeo in Las Vegas in 1974.
The 96-point score remained the record for three years, until Don Gay had a 97-point outing on Rodeo Stock Contractors Inc.’s Oscar in San Francisco in 1977.