Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo wraps a heck of a ride

The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest rodeo wrapped up yesterday after attracting Australia’s best competitors, fiercest stock and thousands of spectators to north-west Queensland for the 54th Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo.

As the finals action reached its climax, the crowd watched guest star American rodeo clown Robbie Hodges and three of Australia’s top protection athletes in action in the Open Bull Ride, won by Victorian cowboy Brad Pierce.

Held from August 10 to 12, the world-famous rodeo also reached the milestone of raising more than $3.6 million for local charities as diverse as the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service and BUSHkids community health organisation since it kicked off.

Rodeo manager Tricia Esdaile said although this year’s rodeo numbers weren’t finalised, the crowds were on par with last year’s record of around 25,000 people attending over the three days of rodeo events.

“Once again we’ve had incredible support from the locals, Xstrata, 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.

Mount Isa Mayor Tony McGrady said this year’s rodeo and family mardi-gras had been the best ever. “The visitors who come to rodeo from all over Australia and overseas leave this city and become ambassadors for Mount Isa and also for the mining industry,” he said.

This year’s event featured entertainment by Busby Marou, country singer Shea Fisher, and Fred Brophy’s Outback boxing tent. The competitors were a mix of local cowboys and national superstars, ranging in age from seven year old first timers to 81 year old rodeo legend Bob Holder in the team rope and tie event.

The Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo is held over the second weekend in August each year.



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