The gates are open for the biggest and richest rodeo in the southern hemisphere, the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo.
After months of preparation involving more than 670 volunteers, all signs point to the strongest Isa Rodeo in years, according to Isa Rodeo Manager Ms Natalie Flecker.
“We have the best cowboys and cowgirls here competing including competitors from Canada, New Zealand and even Sri Lanka,” said Ms Flecker.
“It’s exciting to see rodeo-goers and visitors from all over Australia and overseas finally streaming through the gates. There is a real buzz in the air.”
Isa Rodeo Arena Director Steve Hilton said more than 800 individual rodeo events would be run over the next three days through to 5.00pm Sunday when the Open Bull Ride closed the competition.
“Nominations are over the 600 mark and due to demand we have added extra events such as junior team roping,” said Mr Hilton. “We have the strongest field in the Open Bull Ride in a number of years, so we will see some of the best riders and stock battle it out, that’s for sure. The Isa Rodeo will be an outstanding rodeo.”
Mount Isa’s three days of rodeo competition, including bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback, steer wrestling, roping, ladies barrel racing and breakaway roping kicked off today (Friday, August 7). Around $200,000 in prizes (cash and buckles) is up for grabs at the three-day event which runs until August 9.
Outside the purpose-built rodeo arena at Buchanan Park, pre mardi-gras entertainment starts at 5.00pm tonight followed by the mardi-gras parade and opening ceremony and CMC star Mick Lindsay’s concert. Caitlyn Shadbolt and The Wolfe Brothers will rock the rodeo stage on Saturday night.
“Mount Isa is Australia’s rodeo capital and we are set for a huge weekend of entertainment inside and outside the arena,” said Ms Flecker. “This rodeo is on many of our visitors’ bucket list, and we are proud to present such a spectacular event in Outback Queensland.”
Mount Isa is located in north-west Queensland, 900km inland from Townsville along the Overlander’s. Visitors 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 Riversleigh Fossil Field.
For more information visit www.isarodeo.com.au or phone (07) 4743 2706. Follow us on www.facebook.com/isarodeo; www.twitter.com/isarodeo and www.youtube.com/mountisarotaryrodeo For accommodation and holiday ideas visit http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/outback/
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