Former Australian bull riding champion Darren Brandenburg knows exactly the calibre of bull required for next month’s world-class Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo.
The Richmond-based stock contractor is responsible for supplying the bucking bulls to the biggest rodeo in the southern hemisphere, being held in Mount Isa’s purpose-built Buchanan Park from August 10 to 12.
He knows all eyes will be on his bucking bulls with names like Suicidal Blonde, Wild Thing and Big Brian.
“Big Brian is just one of the 120 bulls I currently own, but he has to be one of my favourites,” said Darren. “At 900kg-plus, He is big and strong and has a lot of heart and is very athletic. He will be spectacular to watch.”
Darren, who was also a finalist in the World Bull Riding Championships held in Phoenix, Arizona in the US, had a distinguished career on the PBR circuit before he turned to stock breeding. He has ridden the world-renowned bull Chainsaw a bone-crunching 13 times.
Now living on a 2000 hectare property with his wife Bridget and three boys, Darren is looking forward to supplying stock to this year’s Mount Isa rodeo.
“It’s not about the money, it’s about the fact we’ve been chosen for Mount Isa,” he said. “It’s a pretty big honour.”
Among Darren’s top stock also heading to the Isa will be Suicidal Blonde, a genetically bred bull whose father is Little Yellow jacket, a multiple PBR World Champion Bucking Bull in the US, recognised as one of the greatest bulls of all time – and Wild Thing, a former Australian bucking bull of the year and the champion bucking bull of the World Cup Series.
Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) General Manager Steve Hilton said rodeo-goers at the Mount Isa were guaranteed to see the country’s best bucking bulls and broncs in action.
He said Mount Isa once again also had a strong line-up of horses including the current Australian bucking horse of the year Mandy’s Boy, former bucking horse of the year Cheyenne Brave and current saddle bronc horse of the year Cheyenne Top Girl plus former saddle bronc horse of the year, Jane.
“You’ll see good quality stock at Mount Isa, no doubt about it,” said Steve. “The competitors will have a good chance to qualify for the finals and have a run for a title.”
Mount Isa’s three days of rodeo competition, including bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback, steer wrestling, roping, ladies barrel racing and breakaway roping kicks off on Friday, August 10. New this year will be “mini rodeos” – the rodeo equivalent of 20/20 Cricket – with the top competitors putting on a fast-paced showcase of all the standard events on the Friday night, and on Saturday after lunch and at 7.30pm.
Nominations are strong for this year’s rodeo, according to Steve Hilton. “The numbers are up in most events,” he said. Around $200,000 in prizes (cash and buckles) is up for grabs in Australia’s richest rodeo event.
Mount Isa is located in north-west Queensland, 900km inland from Townsville along the Overlander’s Way and is easily accessed by direct flights from Brisbane, Gold Coast, Darwin, Townsville and Cairns, as well as by road and bus. Visitors coming earlier or staying on after the rodeo can explore local attractions including Outback at Isa where you can take a “Hard Times Mine Tour” or visit the Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Lake Moondarra, and the region’s twin jewels, Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and the fascinating Riversleigh Fossil Fields.
For more information visit www.isarodeo.com.au or phone (07) 4743 2706. To keep up with all the latest news follow us on twitter.com./isarodeo or facebook.com/isarodeo. For accommodation and holiday ideas visit http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/outback/
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