Our History

A vision to put Mount Isa on the map, a passion for the outback and an intrinsic sense of what could be achieved – that is how the now world-renowned Isa Rodeo got its start.

From one idea, grew an event as rich in history as it is in prize money – the year was 1959.

The idea was to create an event, a spectacle, which would put Mount Isa on the map. For the members of the city’s first Rotary Club, it was time to think big.

And the fact the city had no rodeo grounds, no stock and no experience with such an event, was certainly not going to stand in this club’s way.

A Rodeo was born

So, Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo was born.

With the help of committee members from Cloncurry Merry Muster, the guidance of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) and the hard work and self belief of the Mount Isa community, local sponsors and Mount Isa Mines, the rodeo became a reality.

And in 1959, with some of the country’s top riders listed on the program, the rodeo had its maiden run.

Blokes like Bonnie Young, Vic Gough, Ray Crawford, John Duncombe and Dough Flannagan came for a look and they weren’t disappointed.

It was then, at that first event, that the precedent was set.

This was destined to be something great – an event revered not only throughout the country but around the globe. It was already the talk of the rodeo circuit and word spread like wild fire.

Rodeo Capital of Australia

The buzz had begun. It was labelled as one of the most electrifying events in the country.

These days, the rodeo is run as a well-oiled machine. It is managed by a highly professional, acutely skilled team and it is a must for anyone worth their salt on the APRA circuit.

With up to $200,000 in prize money up for grabs, Isa Rodeo attracts more than 600 nominations. This is arguably the toughest, most satisfying titles to have to your name.

Mount Isa has long been known as Rodeo Capital of Australia. Is it any wonder?