Exactly 23 years after legendary international bull rider Troy Dunn won the Open Bull ride at the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo, his nephew Roy has repeated the same feat.
The largest and richest rodeo in the southern hemisphere wrapped up in spectacular style this afternoon after Roy’s 85.5 point winning ride on “Hot Rod” in the final event of the three day rodeo.
Troy Dunn became world famous by winning the American Professional Bullriding Champion in 1998, the only Australian to ever do so.
According to Roy,” Troy has schooled me from the ground up. He flew back from the US to compete when he won here in 1991. This is my biggest win since I’ve been back competing (after an eight month lay off recovering from shoulder surgery).
Isa Rodeo Arena Director Steve Hilton said this year’s rodeo was the best held here in Mount Isa for years. “The stock (bucking bulls and broncs) were outstanding, the cowboys had to ride to earn their money,” said Mr Hilton, who hasn’t missed an Isa Rodeo in 37 years.
Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo Manager Natalie Flecker said that although final numbers aren’t finalised, numbers through the gates were extremely positive, especially considering the challenging economic conditions.
“Although crowd numbers haven’t been finalised, we had absolutely strong weekend crowds with our Saturday numbers similar to last year’s crowd,” said Ms Flecker. “The atmosphere has been amazing, right through the grounds and around town.
“You couldn’t have asked for better conditions, we’ve had clear blue skies and sunshine – perfect for one of the biggest outdoor rodeos in the world.”
The rodeo was unique as a not-for-profit event run by Mount Isa’s two Rotary Clubs, which managed a 700-strong team of volunteers to help run the massive event, according to Ms Flecker. “Once again we’ve had incredible support from the locals, our naming sponsor Mount Isa Mines, all the sponsors and of course from Rotary – it’s a huge team effort to make the event the success that it was,” she said.
“Rotary donates $45,000 straight back into local community organisations from the rodeo proceeds every year, so it is an extremely important event for this region in terms of community support and also its role in attracting visitors who come for rodeo. Over its 56 year history Rotary has donated around $3.8 million back to local community organisations.”
As the finals action reached its climax, the crowd watched crowd favourite, five-time Australian rodeo clown of the year “Big Al” and three of Australia’s top bull fighters (protection athletes) in action in the Open Bull Ride, won by cowboy .
Held from August 8 to 10, the world-famous rodeo has raised millions of dollars over its 56 year history for local charities as diverse as the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service, the Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC), North Queensland Rescue Helicopter Service, the Laura Johnson Home and BUSHkids community health organisation.
This year’s event featured entertainment by The McClymonts, KING, Kaylee Rain, Mike Starr, Buddy Goode and Fred Brophy’s Outback Boxing Troupe.
The Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo won the Festival & Events category of the prestigious Queensland Tourism Awards for the past two consecutive years and was a finalist again at this year’s Australian Tourism Awards. The Mount Isa rodeo is held over the second weekend in August each year.
For more information visit www.isarodeo.com.au or phone (07) 4743 2706. To keep up with all the latest news follow us on twitter.com./isarodeo or facebook.com/isarodeo.
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