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 64.

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 was expected to remain at the scene, about 1.3 miles north of the Roma airport, for four days.


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 work.

Quintana immigrated to Australia in the late 1980s and became a prominent figure in the beef industry there. He started exporting live cattle in 1991.

He twice set world records for the highest-scored bull rides, a 94-point mark on Minnick 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 RSC’s Oscar in San Francisco in 1977.