Some of the world’s top rodeo competitors are flying into Mount Isa for a Country of Origin bull riding competition which is set to be an absolute highlight of next month’s rodeo, the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.
The stars of rodeo’s toughest event – the bull ride – from the United States, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia – will compete for the coveted title at the 53rd Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo being held from August 12 to 14.
Australia’s Pro Rodeo Association General Manager Steve Hilton said the event would give rodeo-goers the rare opportunity to see up close this calibre of world-class bull riding.
“And if you think the State of Origin league is competitive, wait until you see these guys in action,” said Steve. “They are flying in just for the Mount Isa rodeo and will continue on to compete in the Darwin rodeo and they want to win –not only for themselves but there’s a fair bit of country pride at stake as well.”
Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo Manager Tricia Esdaile said it was a huge coup to attract cowboys including the four-time Canadian “All-round Champion” Steven Turner; Brazilian Joao Henrique, who is currently leading the 2010/11 International Pro Rodeo (IPR)/Brasil standings; and America’s 22-year-old Cody Ford, who regular competes in the US’s Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS).
“This year’s rodeo-goers are in for a real treat,” said Tricia. “We’ve also got the current New Zealand open bull rider Adam Jamison and representing Australia will be Troy Mara, a very formidable competitor and current Australian Bull Riding Champion.”
The Country of Origin bull rides will be the last round of each night’s competition in the arena at Buchanan Park. The first Country of Origin heat will be held on Friday evening, August 12 – culminating in the final Sunday afternoon, August 14.
Outside the arena, the popular free Mardi Gras get underway from 5.30pm, with a street parade and side show alley all part of the fun before the focus shifts to the ring for the ceremonial introduction of the cowboys and cowgirls and kicking off three action-packed days of bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback, steer wrestling, roping, ladies barrel racing and breakaway roping.
Other rodeo entertainment includes the ever popular XXXX Angels, country music singers Mick Lindsay and Tom Maxwell, comedy act the CrackUp Sisters and Fred Brophy Outback Boxing Troupe as well as the Zonta Bush Poets Breakfast on Wednesday, August 10 and the Mailman Express Spring Horse Race on Thursday, August 11.
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