Australia’s top cowboys and cowgirls will compete for the biggest prize money in the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo’s 57 year history when gates – and chutes – open tomorrow (Friday, August 12).
Thousands of rodeo fans are in for a spectacular three days of world-class competition and entertainment, according to Isa Rodeo Manager Ms Natalie Flecker.
“We just can’t wait for those gates to open tomorrow,” said Ms Flecker. “Every year, we try our hardest to surprise our fans and they won’t be disappointed this year.”
Ms Flecker said this year’s prize money of $230,000 in cash and buckles, along with the quality of the entertainment on offer were key to attracting top competitors and increasing visitation respectively.
This year’s entertainment includes Melbourne-based Deep Creek Road, country star Tori Darke, Deep Creek Road, while scenic helicopter flights will lift off from behind the arena for the first time.
Nashville-based husband and wife duo O’Shea will replicate their social media correspondent roles at the huge RODEOHOUSTON at the southern hemisphere’s largest rodeo.
Isa Rodeo Arena Director Mr Steve Hilton said the arena was in premium condition for the three days of world-class rodeo competition.
He said it was also extremely encouraging that nominations were up from last year – 646 compared to 615 in 2015.
“Our bull riding will be the stand out event, and entries in the second division and open bull ride events standing at 122, up from 112 last year,” said Mr Hilton.
“We have all the Australian champions here from the current national saddle bronc champion and former World Rookie of the Year Brad Pierce to Australia’s All Around Cowgirl Stephanie Gard,” said Mr Hilton.
But it’s the Open Bull Ride that is going to be the star event. Competition will be fierce with crowds set to see cowboys including current Australian bull riding champion Troy Wilkinson, current PBR bull riding champion Cory Heffernan, and 2014 Isa Rodeo Open Bull Ride champion Roy Dunn chasing a $30,000 prize pool for eight seconds’ work.
“We also have champion bull rider Steve Woolsey flying in from the States and he is sure to be a good chance,” said Mr Hilton.
Rodeo stock contractor said: “We have stock capable of breaking Australian records.” Last year’s The 2015 Open Bull Ride was the first time in the event’s history that no bull rider rode time (8 seconds) in the final, and the result was decided on aggregate scores.
“We think the bull power is going to be as good this year, if not better,” said Brandenburg. “Whoever wins all the dollars at Mount Isa (rodeo), we’re going to make them earn it.”
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 tomorrow (Friday, August 12). A record $230,000 in prizes (cash and buckles) is up for grabs at the three-day event which runs until Sunday (August 14).
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