Right of Passage or Fearless Fun?

It’s a rush of adrenaline… bungy jumping, white water rafting, sky diving and for some it’s just climbing a ladder, for others it’s about pushing the extreme filled with excitement and real elements of danger. For most of us, eight seconds goes by unnoticed… but when you’re on the back of a bucking bronc it seems to take a lifetime in the quest for rodeo glory!

Wild brumby and range stock continue to prove to be an exhilarating test of man’s courage, endurance, tenacity and skill. Whilst rodeo is a prominent sport in the US with the first recorded rodeo event being held in Arizona in 1864, it is only now that the Australian Rodeo Circuit seems to have not only come of age but also garnered a loyal and large following.

Travelling tent rodeos were a regular sight in Australia in the 1920’s and 30’s, with circuit competitors and spectators alike having a go in the ring. Bushmen’s Carnivals originated in Northern NSW in the 1920’s and were well established by the 1930’s; the end of World War II saw a revival of the carnivals.

With hundreds of active rodeo competitors in Australia, the sport has now become a highly profitable avenue for those who can prove themselves worthy. Cowboys must ride for 8 seconds in order to have a qualified ride. Only one hand can be used to secure the rider to the animal, and they cannot touch the animal with the other hand.

The largest Rodeo event in the Southern Hemisphere and the one that dangles the largest bounty is the Xstrata Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo which has seen the town christened as the Rodeo Capital of Australia and attracts over 25,000 visitors for the annual event each August.

The Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo is now in its 49th year and continues to be the pinnacle rodeo event on Australia’s Rodeo Calendar. It now also has gained international respect with American and European riders visiting the Australian Outback to compete against our home-grown sportsmen.

With five official rodeo events and over $200,000 put on the line in prize money, the Xstrata Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo has secured the title of the richest rodeo in Australia. Whilst the prize money is plentiful and so is the crowd, spectators in their thousands cheer for their favourite competitor.

Rodeo is not only a recognised sport in Australia, but a must-see or must-do event. As Joyce McCulloch, the General Manager of the Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo says, “It’s so hard to explain the atmosphere and excitement, it is such a great vibe but to really experience it you have to see it, everyone’s welcome!”

The 2007 Xstrata Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo will run from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th August 2007. For further information about the 2007 Xstrata Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo please contact the Media Unit at RODEO HQ on 07 47432706.