LEGENDARY SINCE 1959

Buckle up for 2011 Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo

Preparations are well underway for one of Outback Australia’s biggest annual events –  the 2011 Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo being held from August 12 to 14.

This year’s event  – now in its 53rd year – is much more than the best rodeo action in the Southern Hemisphere, according to rodeo manager Patricia Esdaile.

“This year’s event will feature fantastic new attractions including a Country of Origin Bull Ride with American, Canadian, Brazilian and Kiwi rodeo stars taking on our local boys,” said Tricia.

Visitors will also have a new accommodation option this year – with a “swag city” set up onsite at  Buchanan Park, site of the magnificent floodlit Kalkadoon Stadium which hosts three days of rodeo competition, including bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback, steer wrestling, roping, ladies barrel racing and breakaway roping.

“Staying at the swag city will give visitors a true Outback experience for the weekend – they can roll out their swag and camp under the stars,” said Tricia.

“And thanks to the Events Queensland Regional Development Program, we will be super sizing all the 2011 action on a 40 square metre screen with instant action replays.”

This incredible annual event has grown from humble beginnings in 1959 which attracted just over 3000 people including 120 nominations competing for 500 pounds prize money.

Today – the event is huge! The Isa literally pumps with excitement as more than 26,000 visitors arrive for a spectacular festival of world-class rodeo action, entertainment and Outback atmosphere.

This year’s rodeo will attract around 600 nominations vying for up to $200,000 in prizes (cash and buckles).

Outside the stadium, the whole city catches the rodeo spirit – with local businesses and schools competing in the “Best Dressed” Competition including for best window display, best dressed school and best dressed business premises.

The action kicks off on Friday, August 12 with the rodeo getting underway at midday, leading into the opening Mardi Gras Parade from 5pm, with plenty of free family entertainment.

The weekend focus is on rodeo competition, leading up to the Sunday finals. Other rodeo week events include the Zonta Bush Poets Breakfast and Mailman Express Sprint Horse Race, a 200 metre sprint from a running start open to non-thoroughbred horses.

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.

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For accommodation and holiday ideas visit – www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/outback/