While thousands of visitors will travel to Mount Isa for the city’s world-class Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo next month, all eyes will be on bucking bulls with names like Evil Eyes, Suicidal Blonde and Arachnophobia!
Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) General Manager Steve Hilton said the Mount Isa rodeo, being held from August 12 to 14, was an opportunity to see some of the best bucking bulls and broncs anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere.
The bucking bulls stock contractor for the Mount Isa rodeo is Darren Brandenburg, who is a former Australian bull riding champion and based in Richmond in north-western Queensland. He has recently purchased a line of bucking bulls from Shane Iker in Rockhampton.
According to Hilton, one of the bulls to watch is Evil Eyes – a former circuit bucking bull of the year and runner-up to best bull at the recent PBR event held at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
“Another one to watch is Suicidal Blonde, who is by Yellow Jacket, the leading sire of bucking bulls in the United States and is showing enormous potential,” says Hilton. Suicidal Blonde recently won the Futurity bucking bull competition in Rockhampton.
Also heading to the Isa is the memorably-named Arachnophobia (fear of spiders) is another former circuit bull of the year and has a big reputation in Central Queensland.
Hilton said it would be the first time Mount Isa rodeo-goers would see these bulls in action.
“People certainly won’t be disappointed with the standard of bucking bulls,” said Hilton. “They will be well up to the competitors.”
He said once again, Mount Isa had a strong line-up of bucking horses which will include the current bareback horse of the year, Cheyenne Brave and the current saddle bronc horse of the year, Cheyenne Top Girl from Gary McPhee’s stable in Benalla, Victoria.
“They will be joined by horses like Full Monty from the Gill Brothers string and local contractor Alan Remfrey with Crocodile Peabush.”
Rodeo Manager Tricia Esdaile said while the first-ever Country of Origin bull riding competition, featuring top riders from the United States, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia was sure to be a crowd pleaser, there was also a new event this year for riders aged eight to 13 years – Bucking Pony Rides.
Similar to saddle bronc riding, the rider must stay on for six seconds. The rider is judged on style and disqualified if they touch the horse or equipment with their free hand or are bucked off before the end of the ride.
The 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 12. The Events Queensland Regional Development Program has helped fund a giant screen, so all the 2011 action will be super sized with instant action replays.
This year’s rodeo will attract around 600 nominations vying for up to $200,000 in prizes (cash and buckles).
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.
For accommodation and holiday ideas visit http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/outback/
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